What is methylhexaneamine and where can you find it?
Kerry footballer Brendan O'Sullivan served a 21-week ban for testing positive for the stimulant methylhexaneamine.
He was tested on April 24 2016 after the National Football League final which Kerry lost to Dublin but, crucially, the case is said to be an unintentional violation of anti-doping rules.
"Sport Ireland accepted that it was a contaminated product case, that Mr. O'Sullivan bore no significant fault or negligence," the latest statement on the matter reads.
So the question that's terrifying honest players is where can this stimulant be found?
The answer is that it is in a lot of strength and conditioning powder drinks that are designed to help with training.
Claimed benefits include:
- Increases heart rate
- Increases blood pressure
- Sends more blood to skeletal muscles
- Dietary supplement
- Muscle mass aid
- Weight loss aid
The risks, of course, can include heart attacks.
MHA was once used as a nasal decongestant but it isn't anymore. It's no longer in the pharmaceutical reference book, Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, so it would therefore be more difficult to come across in good, regulated supplement companies.
It can still be got though.
Some of the ingredients for this supplement (and this is just one of many) include:
Anabolic Cell Volumizer 4,010mg *
Creatine Nitrate, 2-Aminoethanesulfonic acid Silicate, Agmatine Silicate, (N-(aminoiminomethyl)-beta-alanine), D-Ribose, Creatinol-O-Phosphate
Neurogenic Energizers 390mg *
Caffeine Anhydrous, Methylhexamine HCl (also known as DMAA), Histidine, Rauwolfia serpentina extract
There's no reference on the online store to what the asterisks are actually for but the product does come with a warning:
"Discontinue use immediately if you experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness, vomiting or other similar symptoms..."
These products can be got online by anyone who wants them but, unfortunately, the consequences can be fatal.
Clare Squires took Jack3d which contains methylhexaneamine and, whilst running the marathon, she collapsed.
In a lot of cases, athletes are ordering these products online not knowing that they contain banned substances but there are so many different pre-workout supplements now and so many illegal substances that many are slipping through - probably in complete innocence or ignorance, however you want to label it.
MHA has been banned for 13 years now though.
'Methylhexaneamine (MHA), which sometimes is presented as dimethylamylamine, remains prohibited in competition as a specified stimulant under Section 6.b.
'It has been considered a stimulant at least since WADA took over responsibility for the List in 2004. It was reclassified on the 2011 List to become a ‘specified substance’.
'Methylhexaneamine was sold as a medicine up to the early 1970s and has medicinal properties, but to WADA’s knowledge it has not been sold as a medicine since then.'
Make sure you know what's in the ingredients of what you're buying. And make sure you cross-reference those ingredients with the prohibited list here.