Blog: GW1516 - popular, but deadly

23 October 2018

GW1516, also known as GW501516, Cardarine and Endurobol, was originally developed in the 1990s as a treatment for diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. It was discontinued in 2007 after it was linked to the rapid development of cancer during trials on mice.

GW1516 works by forcing skeletal muscle to use fat rather than carbohydrates as an energy source. Used by some for fat loss, in the context of athletic enhancement, GW1516 also has benefits as an endurance aid.

GW1516 has been linked to a number of positive doping tests in endurance-related sports. After a number of positive tests for GW1516 in 2013, WADA and ASADA released a warning on its health risks. In 2015 and 2016 there were less than six positive tests for GW1516 globally each year. In 2017 however, the number of positive tests for GW1516 rose to 31.

In June 2018 the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) included GW1516 in the Poisons Standard under Schedule 10 – a schedule reserved for substances of such danger to health as to warrant the prohibition of sale, supply and use.

Athletes seeking to obtain an “edge” from the use of GW1516 need to be aware that they risk more than a positive test if they choose to take it – they may be risking their life.