You might have already heard about gw1516 – a black market substance that supposedly boosts the performance of an athlete but was banned in recent years. In the first quarter of 2013, five cyclists in the professional peloton already tested positive with the use of this substance. Now the question would be does this substance really work? Is it safe for the utilization of a human? If they work and they are safe for man, why were they banned in the first place?
Just last year, a member of the RusVelo cyclist team was suspended from competing after testing positive for the use of gw1516 in a test conducted outside of the major competition. Just several days after that, 4 cyclists for Costa Rica all consistently tested positive with the use of the said black market substance. They were suspended by the UCI provisionally.
Now, the issue here is not whether the use of the said banned substance deserves the publicity or not. If you will remember the Armstrong case, you will realize that cyclists using substances that are banned are not new stories. In fact, these kinds of stories have been going on for the last 20 years.
However, this case is different. Remember that in the Armstrong case, the banned substances that he supposedly used for two decades have been tested, evaluated and approved by medical experts around the globe. The reason why it is banned is because the sports committee does not want any cyclist to use any performance enhancing drugs. This case is a little different because the black market substance that the 5 cyclists (the 4 Costa Ricans together with the Russian) used has not been approved for clinical use anywhere in the globe, not like the EPO.
What is the history of this substance called gw1516?
Where did it come from? Why was its used suspended by sports committees and organizations?
This black market substance was first tested, evaluated and investigated by GSK (GlaxoSmithKline), a big pharmaceutical company. At the time, GSK was merely trying to develop a substance that they would call as the perfect alternative to exercise. The rationale for the development of such substance is to prevent the widespread epidemic of obesity, which was worsening wildly at the time.
The said substance initially passed the pre-clinical studies. Hence, GSK were eventually allowed by authorities to test the said drug on a human being. This tests and experiments were later conducted in three phases.
After some time, the experiments with the drug provided considerable success. At the time, everyone was excited to see how this revolutionary drug will change the world. Everyone in the medical world believed that his substance is very promising and that it would be the next best thing. Take note that the tests were conducted in humans were in very low doses.
However not long after, when GSK tried to use high doses of the substance gw1516 to animals, something that is not expected happened. The unexpected thing was that the drug increased the cancer rates in the animals. With this development, big pharmaceutical company GSK decided to scrap the project altogether. It was found that the substance causes the development of cancer.
Now, it gets even worse. Remember that the EPO, which is also banned by cyclist sports organizations before, have well known negative repercussions. According to medical doctors, EPO actually makes the blood of the cyclists and other users so thick with red blood cells that their heart could not pump. According to experts, the effect of gw1516 is worse than that of EPO.
Despite learning of those things, you might still be interested to take the substance. Well, given that its detrimental effects only emerge at higher dosages and you’re probably not planning to partake in global sporting events, you could try the exercise alternative – as long as you take it in minimal doses. Still, think thoroughly you do.