POMPANO BEACH, Fla.The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) dropped deer antler velvet from its list of banned substances after admitting the supplement has been wrongly accused.
Deer antler velvet, a substance used in Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years, can provide increased energy, improved muscle strength and enhanced athletic performance. Although this steroid alternative is legal, it has caused controversy within professional sports in the past.
IGF-1 (insulin growth factor) is a hormone similar to insulin that affects growth, and although it occurs naturally within deer antler velvet, many professional sports leagues have banned the substance. However, WADA ruled that the amount of IGF-1 occurring in deer antler velvet does not warrant banishmenta relief for athletes who want to play by the rules.
"WADA has referred this issue to the List Committee as part of the current List review process to assist WADA in further evaluating those circumstances under which these natural products should be considered as prohibited," WADA said in a statement. "In the meantime, WADA repeats its warning that athletes who use these types of products do so at their own risk."
Several studies indicate that all natural powder capsules, the supplement's most potent form, can benefit athletes' recovery time and running speed. The supplement is also known for promoting healthy joint function, lowering bad cholesterol and boosting libido.