Clenbuterol: Is Banned Brew Behind Athletes' Amazing Bodies?

German table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov was banned after testing positive for clenbuterol. (Getty Images/Yuri Kadobnov)


(CBS/AP) Clenbuterol is the new "it" drug for elite athletes looking to dope their way to victory. Though the fat-burning anabolic drug is a banned substance, it's turning up in the blood of some world-class athletes.

In one recent case, a player on Germany's national table tennis team, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, was suspended after testing positive for "clen."

Ovtcharov said in a statement that he was "shocked" and has never used any banned substance. "I wasn't even familiar with the fact that there is a substance called clenbuterol," he said.

Earlier this month, 21-year-old English hurdler Callum Priestly was banned from competition for two years after testing positive for clenbuterol in South Africa last February, the BBC reported.

Priestly tried to blame the presence of the drug on meat he had eaten, but the authorities didn't buy that defense.

A report issued by the National Anti-Doping Panel said that "it has not proved possible to produce any scientific or other evidence to substantiate the theory that any meat which he ate in South Africa was so contaminated," according to the BBC.

According to the FDA, clenbuterol is a veterinary drug legitimately used to treat respiratory conditions in horses.

But helping athletes lose body fat?

Nay.

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