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Botswanan 800 metre specialist Nijel Amos has been suspended for three years for the presence of a banned substance report to be metabolites of GW1516. GW1516 is a prohibited substance under the WADA 2022 Prohibited List; category S4 Hormone and Metabolic Modulators. The product modifies how the body metabolizes fat.

Amos provided an out-of-competition urine sample on June 4, 2020, in Rabat, Morocco. 

Amos submitted the supplements that he was taking to see if the product was tainted with GW1516. It did not and he was subsequently suspended, at first for four years, then three due to his eventual admission and acceptance of the consequences.

He became Botswana’s first medallist in athletics at the 2012 London Olympic Games. In that event he set the world junior record at 1:41:73. The now 29-year-old also won gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Marrakesh African Games and the Brazzaville African Games.

His personal best remains at 1:41.73, however, he has run sub 1:43 and sub 1:42 several times including his 2019 Monaco Diamond League performance of 1:41.89.

What is GW1516

The product is known by various names including cardarine and endurobol. Often advertised as a selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), GW1516 is a peroxisome proliferated-activated receptor d (PPARd ) agonist and is prohibited under S4.5 Metabolic Modulators on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. Substances in this category modify how the body metabolizes fat and GW1516 was initially synthesized and evaluated for the treatment of obesity, diabetes, and other disorders caused by metabolic problems.

In 2017, 31 sanctions were handed out related to GW1516 worldwide despite the fact that in animal testing the product caused cancer. The manufacturers abanded the product because of the risks of cancer.