ASADA issues peptide warning

9 November 2017

In the wake of a recent article which advertised peptides as ‘the legal performance enhancer even doctors are using’, ASADA has today issued a stark warning on the safety of peptides and other substances not approved for human use, which are also banned in sport.

Peptides work by making changes to the human endocrine system, which includes the pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid and other hormone producing glands. Changes to this system can have very serious effects in regards to human growth, development and reproductive systems.

One recent research paper found that children given synthetic human growth hormone are at significantly higher risk of developing cancer in the long term. Other research conducted on hormone peptides has shown users are at increased risk of hypertensive episodes, haemorrhage, water intoxication and even death.

Professor Andrew McLachlan, Chair of the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel, and Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney stated: “Peptides and SARMs carry a substantial risk of long term harmful health consequences, which are usually understated by the person promoting their use.“

“It is well known that growth hormone doping significantly increases the risk of some types of cancer, and has harmful effects on the heart and liver, but this is often ignored or underestimated by users.”

“Peptides such as ipamorelin are powerful medicines and can have significant adverse effects on the human body, especially when used without medical supervision and at doses outside the recommended range. Taking these substances is a risky gamble for anyone to take with their long term health.”

Raising awareness of the health effects of PEIDs is a key focus of ASADA CEO David Sharpe.

Mr Sharpe said: “It is irresponsible for any person in a position of authority to downplay or disregard the risks associated with these substances.”

“When it comes to the abuse of performance enhancing drugs, the risks are real and extremely dangerous. These include things like blood clots, liver damage, stroke, kidney damage, brain impairment and even death.”

“These substances need to be kept as far from athletes as possible. This is why ASADA is currently reviewing its education program, with a view to increasing athlete awareness of the health risks of PEIDs,” he said.

“In addition, I am also strengthening our relationships with health authorities and law enforcement in order to target unscrupulous medical practitioners including doctors, pharmacists and compounding chemists.”