Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > Deer antlers – the latest performance enhancing drug?
February 3, 2011
Deer antlers – the latest performance enhancing drug?

I thought I’d heard it all.  I was wrong!


After years of getting busted using steroids, athletes have finally found a way to cheat the system- by eating deer antlers.


   The so-called velvet antler (a soft coating that covers deer antlers) is harvested in New Zealand, freeze-dried and grounded into a powder. It then gets shipped to the United States, where it is put into either capsules or liquid extracts that can become an oral spray.

   Many athletes have been using it because it is nearly impossible to detect. The only way to detect it is to run a blood test-and most drug tests are done by urine. "You can find it," said Jonathan Danaceau, a director at World Doping Agency. "But saying whether this is synthetic or natural is hard to determine."

   The substance in the antlers is known as IGF-1, and it is banned by all major sports leagues.  "It's one of the proteins that is increased in human growth hormone … it's considered performance-enhancing," Danaceau said. 

    "I use the spray all the time," Bengals safety Roy Williams said." Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has been linked to a supplier of the drug. But he does not believe that fans will care, and many do not. Sophomore Taylor Berry, an avid Ravens fan said, "I just want the Ravens to win no matter what." Junior Kaylee Herbert disagrees. She said, "It's not right for them to cheat. I'd rather they lose than be dishonest." http://my.hsj.org/Schools/Newspaper/tabid/100/view/frontpage/articleid/410006/newspaperid/3164/Athletes_use_deer_antler_to_cheat.aspx