Hey everybody. Mo Lawal's positive test and various explanations have caused quite a stir around here, which is pretty normal for these types of stories. I'm personally neutral on the question of whether steroids and other supplements should be allowed. What I'm not cool with is the use of these substances while they are still prohibited. What I'm even less cool with is the following kind of pandering excuse-making that some people try to peddle:
"How is it that a company can go around destroying peoples reputation and get away with it? because people like you who want to hate the player, instead of blaming the people that made the drug and disguised it… how many other fighters have used this and got screwed over? And they might not even know how they tested positive. What else is out there like this"
Wow, so many good questions in there. If only something (like the Internet) existed. If only an easily-accessible database of all sorts of information (like the Internet I'm using right now) was available to all of these vulnerable fighters.
I know what you're thinking, that while it sounds good to say that people should just google anything questionable and then they'll be fine, the reality is way more complicated or confusing.
I say bullshit. And I'll prove that not only is at as easy as I claim, it can be done by a completely ignorant nobody who doesn't know dick about steroids. Check out my results after the jump.
So here's my experiment: Using only the name of the substance involved (S-Mass) and Google, can I find enough supporting documentation to arrive at one of the following conclusions in 10 minutes or less:
1. This stuff may be sketchy. Not only should I not take it, I need someone a lot smarter than me to look into this and see if my suspicions are correct.
2. This stuff is legit. I can take it and will pass all piss tests required. Back to training!
Disclaimer: Not only do I know jackshit about steroids, I know very little about science. Don't come at me with stuff about how my hypothesis is flawed, the scientific method wasn't followed or there was no rigor. I don't care. This is a fanpost, not a submission to Scientific American. If you can do it better, do it better.
9:33 AM: Type "S-Mass" into Google, first 4 results are about chemistry and whatever, followed by the product page f for the substance in question from the good people at Steel Body Productions:
I take a moment to appreciate everything awful about this page and this product (there's a lot) and then I notice the offer to "Click Here for Supplement Facts" Don't mind if I do! Here's what's listed:
Supplement Facts: Serving Size: 1 Capsule
Serving Per: 60
Amount Per Serving
4-Chloro-17a-Methyl-a-andro4-ene3, 17b-diol 25mg*
Gelatin, Silica, Magnesium Stearate
This is all gibberish to me. It might as well say 4 parts flimbab with a technocolor whizz-crank. No comprehension whatsoever. But one thing I do know is how to google. So I start with "4-Chlro-17a-Methyl-a-andro4-ene3". WHAT SAY YOU GOOGLE?!?
9:35 AM: Google comes back with the following result (the first is actually a cage potato post related to the Lawal story, so I ignore it. Are you happy now, scientists?)
Here's the FIRST thing listed at the top of the page:
|I have a question about 4-chloro-17a-methyl-andro-4-ene-3, 17b-diol|
|Can you explain,briefly,how this compound works in our body?Is it actually an androgen precurser,or is it a precurser to androgen precursers (make sense?).What will it ultimately be converted to?
Another plus,but not crucial.Is it converted by our liver?
Clarification questions welcome and will be answered immediately.
I'm well aware that the FDA has just banned it,but the remaining stock is still legal for sale.Information on doping control tests (test positive?) and half life of the metabolites would be a plus:)
Asked by BrainBuilder_is_gone 57 months ago
Similar questions: question 4 chloro 17a methyl andro 4 ene 3 17b diol
Did you catch that? Five years ago, someone mentioned that the FDA banned the first ingredient listed in S-Mass. Taking an additional 30 seconds to scan the rest of the comments, another poster voices the possibility that it may show up in doping tests and that users should be careful.
So that's it. Not 10 minutes, 2. And not from a fighter, or a trainer, or a nutritionist, just some jackass with a computer.
So in the future I would like to see these "professionals" held to a minimal standard of accountability for the substances they put in their bodies.
For at least 2 minutes, that is.
UPDATE: Before closing the tab for S-Mass, I noticed the following disclaimer (in red text against a black background. Ugh.)
S-Mass is only recommended for the experienced designer anabolic consumer. Before using a suppressive powerful anabolic please conduct all the necessary research that comes with using a designer anabolic of this nature.
While I feel a swell of pride knowing that I fulfilled the wishes of the captains of industry over at Steel Body Productions, this just makes Lawal's excuses all the more infuriating. How exactly can an Olympic-level athlete be either that lax in scrutinizing everything that goes into his system or that contemptuous of the basic logic of athletic commissions and journalists' ability to recognize such a poor excuse and scuttle it like a European cruise ship (too soon?). Actually, his contempt for AC's and much of journalism is well placed. What he obviously wasn't counting was the FPT factor. No one does, until they get a 1,000-word drop kick administered right to the solar plexus.