The World Anti-Doping Agency issued its second warning about a drug which is still under development and is making it onto the black market and into the hands of athletes looking to gain an edge on the competition. After warning of toxicity for the endurance booster GW501516 last month, the agency has now turned its focus to AOD-9604, an anti-obesity drug.
AOD-9604 is a fragment of the human growth hormone peptide created by the Australian biotechnology company Metabolic Pharmaceuticals Ltd which retains the ability to increase mobilization of fat from adipose tissue while avoiding the negative effects of the full hGH protein.
According to a press release by Calzada Limited, which now owns Metabolic Pharmaceuticals Ltd, AOD-9604 also enhances the creation of muscle cells and the repair of muscles and cartilage. The company has filed patents on these new uses for the drug.
Both the fat burning properties and muscle repair aspects of the drug may prove highly tempting to endurance athletes, especially cyclists, as power-to-weight ratio can be enhanced by the drug. Several internet forums include discussions of athletes already gaining access to and using the drug, which led to the WADA statement today.
"AOD-9604 is a substance still under pre-clinical and clinical development and has not been approved for therapeutic use by any government health authority in the world," the WADA statement read.
"Therefore, under the 2013 Prohibited Substances and Methods List, the substance falls into the S.0 category which states ... 'Any pharmacological substance which is not addressed by any of the subsequent sections of the List and with no current approval by any governmental regulatory health authority for human therapeutic use (e.g drugs under pre-clinical or clinical development or discontinued, designer drugs, substances approved only for veterinary use) is prohibited at all times.'"