Ostarine: What is this trendy PED?Written by Lee Cleveland
Last December, elite level Russian heavyweight boxer Alexander Povetkin tested positive for Ostarine less than a day before an interim WBC title fight against former WBC champ Bermane Stiverne.
(Image courtesy of sarms101.com)
The fight, which was scheduled for December 17 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, was cancelled.
In all fairness, Povetkin recently insisted he didn't know anything about the drug and is in good standing with the sanctioning bodies (as of July 4, 2017).
So what is Ostarine?
In the medical field, Enobosarm, also known as Ostarine, is used for treatment of muscle wasting and osteoporosis. Moreover, the drug is also known to help reduce degeneration during recovery times from serious surgery or similar conditions.
As a PED (performance enhancing drug), it can be used by athletes to increase physical stamina and fitness, not unlike anabolic steroids. Thus, it was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency in January 2008.
Ostarine, which displaces calories from fat stores and feeds them to muscle tissue, is proven to considerably improve lean muscle mass and physical performance, and increase in tendon ability, bone strength, ligament health and collagen turn-over.
Users have cited that Ostarine, taken at their normal caloric levels, produced weight loss while still generating gains in strength and muscle mass. Moreover, the drug is also known to help reduce degeneration during recovery times from serious surgery or similar conditions.
Benefits of Ostarine as a PED
- Increased lean mass gains
- Better strength
- More endurance
- Joint healing abilities
- Anabolic (even at doses as low as 3 mg)
Per steroid.com, the side effects of Ostarine are limited yet one will likely experience similar but more mild pitfalls associated with taking the typical anabolic steroid.
Who has allegedly tested positive?
- In June 2013, professional cyclist Nikita Novikov was provisionally suspended after a possible breach of anti-doping rules, due to a positive A-sample result for Ostarine.
- UFC Fighter Tim Means was pulled from a fight in February 2017 after testing positive for Ostarine in a pre-fight drug screening administered by USADA.
- In May 2016, Romanian-Canadian boxer Lucian Bute, a former super middleweight world titleholder, tested positive for Ostarine after his draw against Swedish professional boxer and titleholder Badou Jack on April 30
- In February 2017, UFC light heavyweight Tom Lawlor was suspended for two years following a positive test for Ostarine.
After Bute allegedly tested positive, boxing champion Lee Selby told DailyMail in May 2016:
"Drug abuse is even worse in boxing than any other sport. We put our lives on the line and this increases the danger of serious harm. It must be one strike and out – for good."
Perhaps the utltimate questions as they relate to Selby's proposed 'One Strike' rule are:
a) What are the chances for a false positive per PED, and
b) How easily are certain PEDs likely to show up (in an athlete's blood or urine) in illegal quanities via a single food or drink contamination?
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.