Have you ever wondered how bodybuilding.com comes up with their winners when giving out “Supplement Awards”?
“Supplement of the Year”
Is it through analyzing safety, efficiency and doing background checks on who makes what?
I have no idea, but it stands out that they now pulled a product from their online store that just last year they named “New Supplement of the Year.” This year is already was a contestant for “Pre-Workout Supplement of the Year.”
That supplement is “Craze,” manufactured by a company called “Driven Sports” and mainly consisting of creatine and various extracts from an orchid family called “dendrobium.”
What would that do in a workout supplement? This is where we take a short journey into phenetylamines.
Phenetylamines are a vast group of chemicals, some comparatively harmless, others not. Among its most potent members are amphetamines – the psychoactive stimulants that in many countries are banned front, left and right. According to Driven Sports, dendrobium naturally contain a number of phenetylamines, all of them of the legal variant, and those are what they put in their product. Probably in the hopes of them sharing at least some of the properties of their oh-wow-I-feel-so-strong-and-see-many-colors illegal brothers.
It is very important for Driven Sports to insist that these naturally occur in those orchids. Because if they do and the orchids as such were sold as a dietary supplement before 1994, you can get away with putting those phenethylamines in your product. It is similar to the legal loophole I already explained when we talked about Jack3d, DMAA and geranium flowers.
USADA Classified Craze As “High Risk” Already In 2012
But maybe Driven Sports got their phenethylamines mixed up (I have to concentrate to just write the word correctly), because recently reports surfaced that Craze contains those it shouldn’t:
- Already in June 2012 the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency tested samples of Craze and found several prohibited substances, consequently putting it on the list of supplements it considers “high risk” for athletes.
- In April this year the FDA received a report about a 15-year-old that had taken Craze and fell “unconscious” and “unresponsive.”
- In July bodybuilding celebrity Rob Riches blamed his usage of Craze for failing a drug test.
Of course, it might be asking for a little too much when expecting bodybuilding.com to do a thorough lab test of products they sell (even though they have people with Ph. D.s that cite scientific resources by the dozen). But how about at least doing a background check on who is manufacturing what?
Meet Matt Cahill
In the case of Driven Sports that wouldn’t have been terribly difficult. The person behind the company is Matt Cahill, who entered the world of dietary supplements twelve years ago with a weight loss pill. If you can call “weight loss pill” what caused at least one death and consisted of baking soda and a pesticide banned since the 1930s. Although pleading not guilty for any deaths, Cahill had to go to prison.
That didn’t stifle his entrepreneurial spirit. While still enjoying the amenities of federal hospitality, he started marketing another workout supplement: the infamous “Superdrol.” This one later was found to contain an illegal steroid and being the likely cause of dozens of liver failures.
Even at the moment Cahill is facing criminal charges for selling unapproved drugs with the “intent to defraud and mislead.”
Is Bodybuilding.com On Your Side?
All this could, or rather, should have been known to bodybuilding.com, but they did nothing. In fact, they gave that supplement from Cahill’s latest company their seal of approval. Craze was only removed from bodybuilding.com’s store after the USA Today put together a complete and damning history of Cahill that received widespread attention.
That makes me wonder whose best interests bodybuilding.com has in mind: yours or those of their partners? Cahill’s Driven Sports, USP Labs, who were behind part of the DMAA scandal linked above, and bodybuilding.com are all members of the same supplement lobbying group, the “American Herbal Products Association.”
Picture courtesy of the U.S. Navy.