NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Following Lance Armstrong’s confession that he used performance-enhancing drugs over the course of his cycling career, a New York State lawmaker has proposed a statewide ban of popular over-the-counter muscle building drugs.
State Sen. Jeffrey Klein has called for the substance dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, to be banned from sports nutritional supplements.
“Possibly the most dangerous, lethal and unregulated performance-enhancing drug on retail shelves today,” Klein said. “It’s nothing more than an unregulated, uncontrolled and unstable version of ephedra, one of the most dangerous drugs ever sold in the country.”
The stimulant is available in pill, powder and drink form at vitamin and health food stores like GNC and the Vitamin Shoppe.
Klein said hidden camera footage taken by a member of his staff found vitamin store employees downplaying the risks of DMAA to teenagers in the market for muscle-builders.
“The FDA is still taking a wait-and-see approach, still looking at it, still investigating it. I think we have to act now,” Klein told reporters including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “We’re putting young people and people who are interested in sports, people getting sort of a quick fix at risk each and every day.”
DMAA is an active ingredient in most best-selling muscle-building supplements, including Jack3D, Code Red and Hemo-Rage Black.
Last May, the Food and Drug Administration probed the safety of the stimulant after issuing warning letters to 10 drug manufacturers. The FDA said the companies failed to submit safety evidence.
The FDA also warned the companies that DMAA is not a dietary ingredient and therefore cannot be an active ingredient in a dietary supplement.
DMAA can narrow blood vessels and arteries, which can raise blood pressure and potentially lead to cardiovascular events including heart attack, according to the FDA.
Klein said the supplement additive can cause cardiac, nervous and psychological issues.
The FDA says there’s “no history…or evidence” that DMAA is safe.
Former high school wrestler Greg Maller said he used DMAA to try to keep pace with his competition.
“I was really just looking for anything that would give me quicker results,” Maller told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
Maller said he got results — and side effects.
“Rapid heartbeat, headache during and sometimes after the workout, and an intense come down,” he told Hennessey.
Some physicians warn DMAA can have severe health effects.
“It increases the heart rate, increases blood pressure and for people who are prone to damage like heart attacks or strokes, it increases the risk of those happening,” Dr. Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School said.
“If national and international agencies are banning this for use with their athletes, why is it still available over the counter?” St. John’s University basketball strength and conditioning coach Pat Dixon said.
DMAA was banned on military bases following the deaths of two soldiers.
Despite the fact that DMAA is not banned by the federal government, Klein said he is confident legislators have the authority to ban it in New York at the retail level and on the Internet.
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