Having grown up in Minnesota and being a rabid sports fan, I have an obligation to closely follow the Minnesota Vikings, no matter how much trouble with the law the team has encountered in recent years. Here’s a story on Vikes’ players Pat and Kevin Williams, who were recently suspended for having a urine sample test positive for a banned substance: bumetanide!
Why would these professional football players be taking bumetanide? Did they have refractory anasarca with a history of congestive heart failure? Of course not. Diuretics are frequently used as a masking agent for illicit anabolic steroid use, as they may dilute the urine enough to reduce the concentration of substances in the urine.
Actually, it’s somewhat controversial as to why these players (not just the Williamses) actually took bumetanide, as no steroids were detected in these urine samples. The use of diuretics as a masking agent for steroids is less effective now that more sensitive techniques such as HPLC are used. And as this informative article on “The Steroid Report” blog points out, several non-FDA-approved dietary supplements marketed for weight loss have trace amounts of bumetanide in them.
One thing is for sure: with the Vikes’ heading into the pre-season with two terrible choices for their starting QB (Tarvaris Jackson & Sage Rosenfels), Minnesota will need much more than a strong loop diuretic to compete this season…