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Friday, August 16, 2013

Myostatin Inhibitors Could Be Abused By Athletes

Image is important to countless people across the globe, it often becomes the number one priority that people have. Some people go too far, abusing drugs like human growth hormones and steroids to achieve the desired look. A report has shown that new drugs being tested as treatments for muscle diseases, like muscular dystrophy, could be abused by athletes, according to NPR.

Known as myostatin inhibitors, these drugs are potential treatments for muscle wasting and other diseases like cancer and kidney disease. These drugs block a substance called myostatin, a chemical produced by the body to stop muscles from becoming too large.

“When the myostatin inhibitors come along, they’ll be abused,” Carlon Colker, a physician and bodybuilder, told NPR. “There’s no question in my mind.” Leo Sweeney, who studies muscle diseases at the University of Pennsylvania, first warned about the potential abuse of myostatin in sports nearly a decade ago. He says the drugs will probably not leave any trace once someone stops taking them, making them difficult to detect.

Sweeney fears that if myostatin inhibitors become known by athletes, doctors could refuse to prescribe them for legitimate purposes because they may get into the wrong hands. “The sort of unmet need in all these diseases far outweighs whether somebody wins a bicycle race or a sprinting event because they cheated,” he says.

At least one myostatin inhibitor will probably receive approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the next few years, the article notes.  

The World Anti-Doping Agency banned substances that inhibit myostatin in 2008.

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