Bodybuilding.com is stepping up internal standards on the supplements they’re presently carrying, and setting clear guidelines for the types of products they’re willing to sell in the future. First on their hit-list is products with steroid type names or ingredient-names that are generally marketed to look like drugs and/or banned substances, especially products with the “drol” prefix or suffix.
On this first count, the removal of products marketed to sound steroid-like, I’m not entirely sure how this is going to work, or what types of products it’s going to cover. For example, Thermolife manufactures a product called C-bol and another called T-bol – the “bol” suffix is a clear reference to the nomenclature commonly used in anabolic steroids to denote a Beta-Hydroxy (oxygen and hydrogen) group (Dianabol, Boldenone, etc…). And T-bol is the slang name for the anabolic steroid, Turinabol. Furthermore Thermolife’s T-bol contains a trademarked ingredient called Dianavol (one letter removed than the aforementioned anabolic steroid Dianabol),
However, neither product is marketed to “look” like a banned substance; they come in regular supplement bottles and boxes. Are these products slated for removal?
How about Gaspari Nutrition’s Plasma Jet? A visual inspection of their packaging shows some resemblance to a box of Growth Hormone:
But it’s clearly not being marketed as a banned substance and doesn’t contain any G.H. references in either the ingredients or the ad-copy. Are these kinds of products going to be removed because they’re in a square box with a double helix on it? And in fact, based on the types of bottles we’ve seen from GN on their recent products, is BB.com going to refuse to carry items in square bottles, just because they “sort of” resemble pharmaceuticals?
The most clear example of a product being named and marketed to be perceived like anabolic steroids is A50 (the slang name for Anadrol 50, an anabolic steroid), which manufactured by BPI Sports . It’s not only named after an anabolic steroid, but it’s packaged to look like one, and the ingredient list is not compliant with current labeling laws, as they have chosen to substitute obscure chemical names for the common names of several ingredients (to further the illusion that this product contains something illicit in nature). The ad-copy even goes so far as to say that the product is modeled after Anadrol 50, which is absurd when we consider that the ingredients are a couple of underdosed herbs and flavanoids that literally have nothing to do with Anadrol, even by the wildest stretch of the imagination:
I’d love to see BB.com take this product off their shelves immediately, but somehow, I’m still seeing that it’s in stock and for sale on their site.
What about products like Super Test, by Beast Nutrition? This product actually has the exact name as injectable testosterone produced by a variety of firms:
I have no idea. I don’t know how this policy is going to shake down. But in the end (and remember I’m no fan of steroid-ey marketing), isn’t this all a bit hypocritical? A quick look at their currently featured articles reveals one by Ron Harris (an admitted steroid user), a six-part series by Dorian Yates (who needs no introduction to the steroid world), contest photos of the NPC Metropolitan (a non-drug tested amateur bodybuilding contest), a podcast interview with Kai Green, and photos of the latest IFBB professional bodybuilding show. If Bodybuilding.com removed the steroid-influenced portions of their site, there would literally be no site at all. And let’s not forget that they advertise in Muscular Development (a decidedly pro-steroid publication) and sponsor numerous non-drug-tested Bodybuilding contests, where the drug use isn’t just obvious, it’s required.
I’m not saying that they’re doing a bad thing by removing products that resort to this type of marketing scheme, I’m just saying that it seems like a futile and hypocritical gesture to take an anti-steroid position, when the site continues to support the anabolic steroid subculture, and indeed wouldn’t exist without it.