It appears that cyclists have found an easy new way to get a performance-enhancing drug: just order it online from a chemical supply company. Two athletes were disciplined this month after testing positive for FG-4592—a drug that has yet to be approved for consumption, the New York Times reports. It boosts red blood cell production, increasing the amount of oxygen carried to the muscles, but the drug is still under study and theoretically available only to researchers. Still, drug-testing expert Don Catlin called the drug's availability "amazing," considering that over 600 sports organizations ban the substance.
A post at Cycling Weekly explains just how easy it is: "Find a reputable chemical supply website on the internet, say you are a researcher and order with a credit card." However they obtained it, cyclists Fabio Taborre of Italy and Carlos Oyarzun of Chile tested positive for FG-4592, though both have a right to challenge the results. One company that sells the drug online is Cayman Chemical, whose VP says it is "highly inadvisable" for people to ingest it. "Things go through the FDA for a reason." (Read more sports doping stories.)