From front, L) Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Usain Bolt and Michael Frater celebrate after winning the men’s 4?100m Relay final at the National Stadium during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 22, 2008. Jamaica won the men’s 4×100 metres Olympic title timing a new world record of 37.10 seconds. Jamaica won gold ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and Japan. (Photo credit WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)
By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Jan. 26, 2017: It quickly became trending news Wednesday as reports that triple Olympian and world’s fastest man Usain Bolt would have to return one of his nine gold medals after his Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter tested positive for a banned substance in a re-test and cost his Jamaican 4 x 100 metres team-mates and winners of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to be stripped of their title. So what’s the drug that cost Bolt, Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell their gold? Here are ten things you should know about Methylhexanamine or DMMA:
1: Methylhexanamine is actually naturally occurring substance in Pelargonium graveolens, a flowering plant in the Geraniaceae (Geranium) family. It was introduced to the world in April 1971 by Eli Lilly and Company under the brand name Forthane as an inhaled nasal decongestant.
2: Methylhexanamine has also been marketed under the names Forthane, Geranamine, 1,3-dimethylamylamine (1,3-DMAA) or simply dimethylamylamine (DMAA) and is known to have stimulant properties including as a body-building aid, an athletic performance enhancer, and a weight-loss aid. References to ‘geranium’, ‘geranium oil’ or ‘Pelargonium graveolens’ in the listed ingredients of legal highs are believed to mean methylhexanamine, although few of these products have been formally analyzed.
3: The Eli Lilly and Company removed it as an inhaled nasal decongestant from the market in 1983. But ‘Party Pills’ such as BZP contain DMAA (methylhexaneamine) persisted especially in New Zealand.
4: In 2006, Patrick Arnold reintroduced the drug as a dietary supplement, after the final ban of ephedrine in the United States in 2005. Methylhexanamine under the trademarked name Geranamine, a name held by Arnold’s company, Proviant Technologies, has since been sold extensively under many names as a stimulant or energy-boosting dietary supplement.
6: It reportedly works by focusing on fat loss and workout energy when used the ingredient in concert with other substances such as caffeine. Euphoria is often reported while experts say it produces increased focus and productivity, suppressed appetite and elevate blood pressure, but not heart rate.
7: Still its safety has been questioned as a number of adverse events and at least five deaths have been associated with methylhexanamine-containing supplements. Among the deaths linked to the drug is the death of runner Claire Squires, who collapsed near the finish-line of the April 2012 London Marathon. The drug has been found to constrict blood vessels and thus has effects on the heart, lungs, and reproductive organs. It also causes bronchodilation, inhibits peristalsis in the intestines and has diuretic effects. Nausea is often reported as a side-effect, even at moderate doses.
8: The FDA has stated that methylhexanamine “is known to narrow the blood vessels and arteries, which may lead to cardiovascular events ranging from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to heart attack.” In April 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration determined that methylhexanamine was potentially dangerous and did not qualify as a legal dietary supplement. It warned supplement makers that it was illegal to market methylhexanamine and warned consumers of potentially serious health risks associated with methylhexanamine-containing products.
9: The drug is banned by many sports authorities and governmental agencies due to serious concerns about its safety. These countries include the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. The World Anti Doping Agency has banned methylhexanamine as a performance-enhancing substance and suspended athletes that have used it.
10: In 2010, the US military issued a recall of all methylhexanamine-containing products from all military exchange stores worldwide.