Well, it’s finally hit Japan. Drugs in baseball. A player was busted for… wait for it… Hair Growth Formula. Yes, that’s right: Hair Growth Formula. The illegal (within baseball laws) ingredient within is finasteride, the active ingredient in hair tonics, Proscar Finasteride & Propecia Finasteride.
The first ever suspended under the new drug policy, Rick Guttormson of the Softbank Hawks failed his drug test – testing positive for finasteride. The American pitcher was suspended for 20 days, and the Hawks hit with a 7.5 million yen fine (almost $US 65,000). I guess it’s a case of ‘Hair today, gone tomorrow’…
Now, why is this particular hair tonic on a banned list? Because it’s a common masking agent for Nandrolone.
Being banned for finasteride isn’t new – US Winter Olympic Skeleton racer Zach Lund tested positive at the 2006 Turin Olympics, and was booted from the games, then suspended for a year. Former Montreal Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore also tested positive for it, and was dropped from the Canadian team just prior to Turin. He wasn’t penalised by the NHL, but was banned from international play for 2 years.
Guttormson, a native of Torrance, California has been using it for about 2 years… to the best of my knowledge, he doesn’t have a hair problem. Perhaps it was just ‘preventive measures’.