Are SARMS Legal (2017)


Chemical Structures of SARMS

In the sports nutrition market, Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) have become hugely popular as a viable alternative to anabolic steroids. The fact that SARMS don’t result in common side effects of steroids such as gynecomastia, acne, and shrinking of testicles and targets the androgen receptors in ways where they are more beneficial says it all.

These non-steroidal and tissue-selective anabolic agents are considered by athletes across the globe as the next-generation muscle-builders to gain muscle mass, improve strength, and lose fat.

Medical Use Of SARMS

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators have been used in the medical world for treating a wide range of health complications, mild and severe.

  • Ostarine (also known as MK-2866 and Enobosarm) is medically used to treat muscle and bone. This Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator is also effective to reverse muscle sarcopenia in the elderly and is considered as the general treatment for andropause. Commonly used for treating osteoporosis, Ostraine is equally effective to treat cachexia in cancer patients.
  • LGD-4033 (also known as Anabolicum and Ligandrol) is clinically indicated for cachexia, andropause, and muscle sarcopenia reversal in the elderly.
  • S4 (also known as Andarine) is clinically indicated for treating benign prostatic hypertrophy, muscle wasting, and osteoporosis. This orally-active partial agonist for androgen receptors has the potential of competitively blocking binding of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to its prostate gland’s receptor targets and its partial agonist effects at androgen receptors prevent the health complications or side effects that can be associated with the anti-androgenic drugs traditionally used for treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy.
  • Testolone (also known as RAD140) is clinically indicated for treatment of severe health complications like breast cancer and muscle wasting.

Legality Of SARMS

Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) are research chemicals and legal in many countries of the world. It is important to note that a large chunk of SARMS are not scheduled or prescription drugs.

Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (“DSHEA”) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), SARMS cannot be sold as supplements or at supplement stores. In other words, SARMS are not legal as ingredients in any type of dietary supplement for sale in the United States. However, they are still very legal for research and medicinal purposes.

It can be made out from the statements that SARMS are absolutely legal for treating health complications such as muscle-wasting, osteoporosis, etc. under medical supervision but athletes and others may not enjoy the privilege of “legal immunity” of using these drugs when they use them for performance enhancements.

In 2008, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) added SARMS to the list of prohibited substances means they are banned at-all-times for athletes covered under the WADA Code. This is primarily because though SARMS are not steroid drugs, they have the potential to produce the anabolic effect of anabolic androgenic steroids. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators tend to work quite similarly to Testosterone but in a more specific and targeted way. This is done as SARMS get bind to the steroid receptor in only a specific tissue, such as muscle.

A big majority of fitness enthusiasts still make use of these performance enhancing drugs for losing body fat, gaining muscle mass, improving strength or performance, getting in good shape, and improving workout performances. It is no surprise that there have been over 30 Adverse Analytical Findings (AAF) reported for SARMs between 2012 and 2014 as per the WADA Anti-Doping Testing Figures. It was even reported in the media that Will Grier, the quarterback of the Florida Gators, allegedly tested positive for LGD-4033 however this claim was denied by the University of Florida.

Ben Johnson (left) & Charlie Francis (right)

Charlie Francis, the world famous athletics coach of Ben Johnson, once remarked that S4 and Ostraine were already in use at the Beijing Olympics of 2008. Francis also commented that SARMS were the “dope de jeur” at the 2009 Berlin world athletics championships. Francis had further remarked that Selective androgen receptor modulators have the ability to enhance the production and utilization of Testosterone and a pretty potential cocktail can be made if SARMS are stacked with Human growth hormone. It was and is these reasons and many more that SARMS have had almost became a household name in countries such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada to name a few.

The Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO)


Doping menace has hit almost every sport in the last few years and it therefore becomes imperative for athletes who want to win clean to be more informed and vigilant. This is where the Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) assists athletes across the world stay high on the right set of knowledge and protects their “clean” status.

UK Anti-Doping

This tool is available online and on mobile devices and allows athletes to check the permitted or prohibited status of licensed medication according to the latest World Anti-Doping Code Prohibited List. The Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) is updated on a regular basis and all data is completely verified by pharmacists with vast experience in the segment of anti-doping. The Global DRO is characterized by efforts made for adding products that arrive on the market in a timely manner.

Global DRO can be classified as a partnership between the UKAD, CCES, and USADA to provide information about the prohibited status of specific medications based on the current World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List to athletes and support personnel. The Japan Anti-Doping Agency (JADA) is an official Global DRO licensee.

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport

Many other countries also offer online drug information services to their athletes. The list of such countries include Australia, Austria, Belgium (French Community), Belgium (Flanders), Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Netherlands. The list also includes countries like New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. However, the Global DRO partners do not take any responsibility for the information provided by the services of these other nations.

Benefits of this tool can be reaped 24/7 and from any geographical location of the world. The Global DRO can be used by visitors for specific information on products that are sold in Canada, the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Athletes are advised to check on this tool before they take any medication and it can simply be done by typing the name of the product in the Global DRO search engine. This redirects them to information on whether the substance is permitted or prohibited, both in and out of competition, so they know what is safe and unsafe for them to maintain their “clean” status.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency – USADA

The popularity and effectiveness of this resource is evident from the fact that there were more than 314,000 inquiries in 2012 between the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

As an example of a 2016 update, there has been new clarifications and substances added to the Prohibited List in different categories, including but not limited to insulin-mimetics, including all insulin-receptor agonists and Meldonium (Mildronate).