SARMs are not only of threat to fair play, they’re also dangerous
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) are a group of experimental medicines claiming to build muscle mass and bone density, without the side effects of steroids.
SARMs are not only banned in sport, but many have not undergone clinical trials and have not been deemed fit for human consumption.
Common types of SARMs include:
And lesser-known SARMs are:
- BMS 564929
- AC-262,536 (Accadine)
Both the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued warnings about the health effects of SARMs including adverse effects on the liver and heart.
The ability to buy SARMs online or the presence of online advertising, does not negate the fact they are illegal in Australia without a valid prescription, licence or authority to possess. Buying SARMs online, or products containing SARMs, could result in hefty fines and/or jail time.
- For athletes, purchasing SARMs can also result in a lengthy ban for sport for the anti-doping rule violations of possession or trafficking.
SARMs are illegal
Because they are illegal, SARM products do not undergo any quality assurance checks, and may not even contain the substances they claim in advertisements or on labels.
In fact, a recent Australian study found that 70% of SARM products purchased online, had incorrect substances or dosages to what was on the label, and more than 96% of products were contaminated with other SARMs or related substances. This comes with risks of unknown drug-to-drug interactions at the very least.
Although SARMS are often marketed as being at the cutting-edge of science, these results suggest that buyers will rarely get the product they think they are ordering. Which is very risky business for substances that haven’t been approved for human use in the first place.
It’s essential that any supplement or product claiming to help build muscle, be checked thoroughly for evidence of SARMs and other banned substances.
As always, Sport Integrity Australia strongly suggests a dedicated training regime and food first approach to enhancing one's performance or building physique. But if supplements are deemed necessary, athletes must ensure their products are batch-tested.
This can be done by using the Sport Integrity app, which is available for free download via:
For more information on SARMs, check the TGA website or through the links to each SARM found in the list above.