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The drugs in question

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December 14, 2007

The following are some of the drugs named in the Mitchell Report that baseball players are accused of using.

Anabolic steroids. Come in dozens of forms with names such as nandrolone, trenbolone, and stanozolol. All are easier to detect than so-called designer drugs. All work in subtly different ways, but the main function is to increase muscle mass and decrease symptoms of fatigue, making it easier to recover and work out more.

Androstenedione. Better known as Andro, this became well known when Associated Press reporter Steve Wilstein noted a bottle of the pills in Mark McGwire's locker in 1998. It's a steroid precursor, naturally produced in the adrenal glands and gonads, that serves as an intermediate step toward producing testosterone. Banned by federal law in 2004.

The Clear. Full name is Tetrahydrogestrinone. Known as one of the most effective anabolic steroids, it's a so-called designer drug made specifically for athletes looking to escape detection. Developed by Patrick Arnold and distributed by BALCO and others. A syringe of THG was provided to the US Anti-Doping Agency by track coach Trevor Graham. USADA then developed a test to detect it. Barry Bonds is accused of using THG but said he thought it was a flaxseed oil supplement. The drug shares traits with steroids such as nandrolone and trenbolone but is much more potent.

The Cream. Ointment with testosterone and epitestosterone. A doping screening test measures the testosterone-epitestosterone ratio. Often used in conjunction with THG, the Clear. Some believe the Cream was used to try to deceive laboratories. Using the Clear could suppress natural steroid production, but adding the Cream could give the appearance of a normal urine steroid profile.

HGH. Human growth hormone. It has become popular because it's hard to detect and is believed to work well in combination with other steroids. Naturally produced in the pituitary gland. Stimulates liver and other tissues to secrete chemicals that stimulate growth. No test yet available to detect this substance on a reliable basis. Prescribed for children with growth issues and adults with pituitary gland problems. Its brand names include Genotropin, Humatrope, and Nutropin.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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