American Cellular Labs Raid
Tren Xtreme and Mass Xtreme, are manufactured by American Cellular Labs and marketed as a “potent legal alternative to” steroids. But according to the New York Times, authorities alleged in search warrants that the supplements contain steroids!
Are Max Muscle Stores In On It?
Authorities said that Max Muscle, a supplement store with about 100 locations, paid American Cellular Labs to be the exclusive retailer of these products. Maurice Sandoval (American Cellular’s CEO), said in a telephone interview that he himself never personally sold steroids but declined to comment on whether the company had ever sold steroids. Reporters phoned Max Muscle’s head office in Anaheim, California and were told that no one was available to comment on how many Max Muscle stores carried the American Cellular products. “This is not our product,” said the man, who would not give his name and hung up.
Liver & Kidney Damage
Investigators grew concerned over supplements made by American Cellular Labs after the FDA. received reports of severe liver and kidney problems in people who had used the two products, according to court documents. In one case, a liver transplant doctor reported that a 38-year-old male patient who had used these products was later hospitalized with severe liver dysfunction and acute kidney failure which needed to be treated with dialysis, the documents said.
Prohormones Are Untested DRUGS
Steroids come with health risks. But unknowingly taking supplements that contain steroids is even riskier said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an instructor at the Harvard Medical School who is studying the dangers of adulterated dietary supplements. When doctors prescribe testosterone for men who have a testosterone deficiency, physicians monitor the patients health closely. But taking prohormones and designer steroids is even more dangerous for people, he said, because these compounds have not been studied for safety.
“It’s placing the consumer at very serious risk of harm because there is absolutely no research showing that this new compound is safe in humans,” said Cohen, a general internist at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a network of public hospitals in Massachusetts. “We do have evidence that, in the past, analogs of pharmaceutical compounds have led to unexpected life-threatening disease such as liver failure that required transplantation.”
BALCO agent searches for steroids in supplements
By EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer
The investigator who led the BALCO probe has taken aim at a San Francisco-area supplement manufacturer, claiming the products they sell are laced with designer steroids.
Authorities filed a search warrant under seal Tuesday in federal court to raid the home of American Cellular Labs CEO Maurice Sandoval and a Max Muscle supplement store he’s associated with for evidence the company sells steroids under the guise of a supplement.
The court documents were made available to the public Thursday.
In an affidavit, Jeff Novitzky, special agent for the Food and Drug Administration, said the company’s products Tren Xtreme and Mass Extreme contained designer steroids “Tren” and “Madol,” which were identified during the investigation into the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.
Novitzky led the way on BALCO, the focal point of a scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs that included top-level athletes, including Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and Barry Bonds.
Novitzky used some of the same techniques he employed in BALCO to gather evidence supporting the search warrant in this case, including digging through the trash outside Sandoval’s house in Pacifica, Calif.
Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said the raid was welcome news about a multibillion-dollar industry that is not as stringently regulated as the drug industry.
“It ought to give clean athletes renewed hope that the ’A Team’ that was on BALCO is still out there, protecting their rights by continuing to do their best to shut down places that are putting designer steroids out,” Tygart said.
Data seized by investigators could include lists of purchasers of the company’s products. Although major sports and Olympic sports test for Madol and Tren, the drugs are not widely tested for in high schools, many of which have started testing programs in recent years.
Novitzky wrote in the affidavit about his conversation with a salesman at a San Francisco Max Muscle store, who said he would not sell the products to high school kids because there were too many side effects.
Novitzky did not identify himself to the salesman, who told him about a proposed rule to label the products anabolic steroids and said the products would not be around for long because of increased investigations by the FDA into the supplement industry.
The FDA regulates the industry, though some studies show steroids make their way into a number of supplements.
Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition that represents the supplement industry, conceded in an interview last month that the industry was not spotless.
“There are some small manufacturers who don’t always abide by rules and regulations that are in place,” he said. “But there’s an awful lot of regulation in this industry and to say there isn’t, that’s false.”