Jan
19

Steroids For Sale on Amazon.com

Illegal anabolic steroids are for sale on Amazon.com according to Don Catlin of Anti-Doping Research Inc. Amazon.com does not actually sell any of the dietary supplements which allegedly contain anabolic steroids. Rather, merchants participating in the “Amazon Seller” program offer steroids for sale. This is clearly done in violation of Amazon.com’s terms of service.

Amazon.com most likely has not knowingly offered steroids for sale via Amazon Sellers since the steroid products are sold and marketed as “dietary supplements”.  Amazon did not ship products for most vendors; it was only responsible for product fulfilment by one vendor offering steroids for sale.  

The supplements in question are not legally classified as scheduled III anabolic steroids  in most cases but Catlin tested several products and found that one of the steroids for sale did indeed include a Schedule III controlled substance. Even though a supplement does not contain a Schedule III anabolic steroid does not mean it is legal to sell; some dietary supplements containing steroids for sale are classified as “unapproved new drugs.” While the penalties are not the same as selling Controlled Substances, the sale of unapproved new drugs is still a violation of federal law. Catlin reports the results in a blog article entitled “Amazon sellers trafficking steroids, some classified as Schedule III Controlled Substances“:

Competitive Edge Labs M-Drol was purchased through Amazon.com on Nov. 15 in an order fulfilled by Amazon Seller Surplus-Supplements.  We analyzed it in our ISO 17025-accredited lab and compared it to a reference standard of methasterone, or Superdrol, and in fact M-Drol does still contain methasterone.  The sale of methasterone or a drug like it would likely qualify as sale of an unapproved new drug, according to the FDA’s recent letter to industry from Dec. 15: “These products are illegal because they are unapproved new drugs under 21 U.S.C. §§ 321(p) and 355(a) and/or adulterated dietary supplements under 21 U.S.C. § 342.”

There is more clarity in the case of the second product, Competitive Edge Labs P-Plex, which contains the anabolic steroid Madol.   Madol is classified as a schedule III controlled substance by the DEA under the name desoxymethyltestosterone (no other names listed).

Catlin recognizes Amazon.com may not be legally liable since they are a third-party simply offering an ecommerce solution to vendors of dietary supplements. Catlin is pressuring Amazon.com to remove all vendors who offer steroids for sale as dietary supplements. He suggests that if Amazon can remove a pedophile guide, they can also remove offerings of these steroids for sale. Still, ADR’s VP Oliver Catlin recognizes this may be a bit more difficult since there are “a million other products on sale on Amazon that are similar”.

Knowingly or not, Amazon does appear to be providing a marketplace for selling steroids, some classified as controlled substances.  Amazon was willing to withdraw the pedophile’s guide in three weeks, as we pointed out in our blog post Nov. 12.  Hopefully, Amazon will hear the FDA on this matter and also voluntarily withdraw these steroid products from their website, sooner rather than later.  We stand ready to help Amazon or other retailers in maintaining a safe marketplace for dietary supplements in the future

Amy Shipley of the Washington Post also reports on the “Amazon.com steroids for sale” story today. She suggests that some supplement manufacturers of these steroid products are still producing and distributing illegal supplements in spite of recent FDA actions.  She points out that the companies claim they have not manufactured the products in over a year. However, Oliver Catlin alleges that they were recently manufactured due to “fresh expiration dates” on the bottles of the steroids for sale on Amazon.

Amazon.com has not publicly responded to the Catlin report.

Don Catlin has been called the “father of drug testing in sports” by the New York Times. He is the CEO of Anti-Doping Research where he works with his son, Oliver Catlin, the Vice President and COO.

Steroids for sale at Amazon.com

About Millard Baker