Geranium oil at the root of it all

2010-11-17 00:00

THE banned stimulant, methylhexaneamine, for which two Springbok rugby players have tested positive, is freely available across the counter in South African pharmacies.

Beeld yesterday saw at least three supplements that are used especially by bodybuilders before training sessions, in Dischem pharmacies. They cost between about R390 and R550 per container.

The substance was also in an Eli Lilly nasal spray, which was registered 40 years ago. Beeld could not find such a spray in South Africa, but a version of it is possibly still being sold overseas.

Ron Read, operations manager of Bolus, which manufactures the supplement Jack 3d locally, told Beeld that they warn professional sportspeople not to use the product because it contains methylhexaneamine. “For anyone else wanting to use it together with his or her gym programme, it is totally legal.”

Andy Gray, a pharmacologist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said yesterday he had never heard of methylhexaneamine before the recent series of incidents in which sportspeople tested positive for it. He is also not aware of any local medicines that contain it.

Methylhexaneamine is a constituent of geranium oil.

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