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Some of our time most successful athletes call it a remarkable healer; some scientists refer it as bogus drug. Anti-doping organizations as WADA don’t know how to define it nevertheless it is not even on THE new WADA 2018 list of prohibited substances in section “ under review” and caffeine is there!
Its called Actovegin.
When our modern time supermen Usain Bolt did not turn up at the Camperdown Classic in Kingston , most of us thought that he’s injured. These events took place in year 2012.
The UK’s Daily Mail reported that he’d been seen in Germany visiting highly controversial German doctor Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt.
His agent at the time stated that he was just getting a “check up”. It most likely means that he was being injected with heavy doses of Actovegin which basically is extract of calf blood
Dr Muller-Wohlfahrt is very healthy person, he is 69 years ( year 2012) old physician – doctor at the time he had longish black hair who works from impressive 100 of years old Gothic castle.
This all is not just a speculation, doctor in question described his treatment methods involving Actovegin in an interview with ESPN .
Actovegin is an amino acid-rich concoction obtained from the blood.
The treatment with calf blood extract among other things is said to reduce the recovery f muscle tear period tears by up to impressive 70 percent.
The patients of this controversial doctor , mainly superstars in sports world like Ronaldo and Bolt, swear by this relatively new method.
In other part of the world, Australian public had their first news about Dr Muller-Wohlfahrt when Geelong defender Max Rooke was sent to Germany and was very treated in very effective manner for a serious hamstring injury before the 2007 AFL finals.
The US government, though, has not approved Actovegin sales and imporataion in the country that’s off course means that it is not FDA approved . Since US market is heavily lobbied by Big pharma its very hard to get new product trough. Actovegin is mainly manufactured by very well-known European company located in Austria – Takeda. Actovegin in variety of forms is sold in part of Europe, mostly in Northern parts and in Russia. We have to note that Takeda has a prestige quality product and there is number of online pharmacies where one can order Actovegin online which will arrive in 5-10 days to your door step of it is sent from EU.
In 2000 the IOC became aware that cyclists were using Actovegin and they got suspicious when they saw that calf blood kept being seen in athletes bags and banned it but only for a while before unbanning it the very next year because at the time there was no proof it enhancing performance of athletes performance. Now there is proof that it can enhance oxgen metabolism and is in fact performance enhancing drug.
In this context we have to mention that there is small BAN by WADA : “Intravenous infusions and/or injections of more than 50 mL per six-hour period are prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions or clinical investigations.” But we all know that this is not controlled and 50mL of Actoveign is exactly the dose one needs to enhance performance. There is no doubt that Actovegin is very useful in treatment of muscle tear but with very high probability it enhances performance also.
There is one more worry for WADA and it is possibility that Actovegin is used for masking other substances, they are injected together with Actovegin to try to hide them .Calf blood substance was found in the satchels dumped by Lance Armstrong associated doctors post during the 2000 Tour. Also good known doping cyclists Jesus Manzano and Joseph Papp said they were regularly injected mixture of medicines that included Actovegin sort of drug cocktail.