2,4 dinitrophenol: It's not just for men

16 Oct 2020

2,4 dinitrophenol : It's not just for men / Jennifer Germain, Conan Leavey, Marie Claire Van Hout, Jim McVeigh

  • International Journal of Drug Policy 95 (2021) 102987 (September)
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102987



2,4 dinitrophenol (DNP) is an organic compound which causes thermogenesis resulting in fat burning and weight loss. Although not licensed for human consumption, the globalised access to and information about this compound on the internet has prompted a renewed interest in DNP making it readily available to purchase online.  Studies into user experiences remain scarce and much of the previous literature has focused on DNP use in male dominated bodybuilding communities. While online accounts of female DNP use are plentiful, this group are under researched.


Ten online forums containing female discussion of DNP were identified and 440 threads subjected to a thematic analysis. Semi structured interviews were conducted with four forum moderators (all men) and one woman who reported use of DNP.


The findings highlighted diverse motivations for why women use DNP as well as differences in experiences, dosing regimens, willingness to take risks and adverse effects. Many women reported using online forums to seek advice and trusted the information they received. However, much of the discussion and protocols for use online is perpetuated by and geared towards men, with DNP seen as a ‘hard core’ drug that is not suitable for women. Female DNP use was frequently stigmatised because the potential risks were seen to be at odds with women's roles as mothers and caregivers. Women who used DNP were often ignored, ridiculed or seen as novice users, while men were viewed as the DNP experts.


This study provides an overview of female experiences of DNP use. There is a growing body of evidence as to the harms associated with this compound and there are no guaranteed ‘safe’ regimens that can be advocated for any potential user. Users equate deaths or ill harms from DNP with incorrect dosing or insufficient knowledge of the impact of the drug on the body. This leads women to incorrectly assume that if they are not suffering ill effects they are using DNP safely. Of key concern from this study is that within a vacuum of harm reduction advice, women are reported to be accepting DNP advice circulating in male-dominated forums and adopting the protocols of male bodybuilders with potentially fatal consequences. Furthermore, women using DNP are doing so without any ‘real world’ support, gender sensitive treatment pathways or interventions in place.

2,4-Dinitrophenol: 'diet' drug death following major trauma

18 May 2021

2,4-Dinitrophenol: 'diet' drug death following major trauma / N. Freeman, D. Moir, E. Lowis, E. Tam. - (Anaesthesia Reports 9 (2021) 1 (May); p. 106-109)

  • PMID: 34027412
  • PMCID: PMC8131886 (available on 2022-05-18)
  • DOI: 10.1002/anr3.12121


There has been a resurgence in the illicit use of 2,4-dinitrophenol by people wishing to achieve rapid weight loss. Despite its availability, the drug is banned for human consumption as it is toxic and can have fatal consequences. We present the case of a 23-year-old man who regularly consumed 2,4-dinitrophenol to generate fat loss without apparent ill effect. He was involved in a high-speed road traffic collision and sustained limb-threatening injuries. The combination of emergency surgery, trauma and 2,4-dinitrophenol consumption culminated in deterioration under anaesthesia, with subsequent death from multiorgan failure in the intensive care unit 48 h later. Previous cases have reported death from 2,4-dinitrophenol toxicity alone. We believe this is the first reported case of 2,4-dinitrophenol toxicity triggered by the additional physiological stress of polytrauma and emergency surgery.

2007 Drug Games: The International Politics of Doping and the Olympic Movement, 1960-2007

1 Aug 2007

Drug Games: The International Politics of Doping and the Olympic Movement, 1960-2007 / Thomas Mitchell Hunt. - University of Texas: Austin, 2007

The widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs among elite athletes is the most important policy problem in modern Olympic history. Although several works have addressed the subject (a few of which are admittedly excellent), they have been limited either temporally or by a lack of access to archival sources of information. Based on research in both American and foreign archives, this dissertation complements earlier, path-breaking works by tracing the evolution of Olympic doping policy from 1960 to the present.
Olympic policymakers first seriously considered the subject of doping after suspicions arose that the death of Danish cyclist Knud Jensen at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games was triggered by the use of amphetamines. For most of the next decade, these officials attempted to define the doping problem and struggled to formulate a program for its solution. An international politics of doping consequently developed, under which the various bodies of the Olympic governance structure failed, due to their divergent interests and jurisdictions, to implement a coordinated plan. Until recently, administrators working at all levels of this organizational system tended to formulate doping policies with the idea of dampening the effects of public controversy. In addition, the influence of the Cold War on the Olympics exacerbated the situation, as national governments on both sides of the Iron Curtain, believing that success in the Olympic medals race was essential to their images abroad, condoned the use of ergogenic aids among elite competitors. It was not until Canadian track star Ben Johnson tested positive for an anabolic steroid after setting a new world record in the one-hundred meter sprint at the 1988 Seoul Games that a different policy direction was initiated. The involvement of national governments after the scandal led eventually to the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency in November 1999. The consolidation of regulatory authority in this agency has transformed the issue of doping in the Olympics from a combined political and scientific problem to one based more appropriately on the latter.

If elite sport has developed as a “vast, loosely coordinated experiment upon the human organism,” then the efforts to regulate doping within that experimentation have been decidedly dysfunctional. Since the subject first became an issue of public concern in the 1960's, Olympic policymakers, whichever the individual organization to which they belonged, confronted doping issues on ad-hoc bases with little long-term planning; substantive measures were, as a consequence, rarely undertaken outside times of crisis. This was in part due to the diffuse governance system under which the Olympic movement operated; regulatory power over doping was divided among several levels of international and national federations, national Olympic committees, and organizing bodies for individual competitions. At the same time, failures among public and private policymakers to recognize the salience of the doping issue and to fulfill responsibilities for its effective regulation ensured that this structure remained intact for multiple decades.
To be fair, there were successes in the struggle to curtail performance-enhancing drugs in the Olympics; at the same time, not every individual in the Olympic community was personally culpable for the movement’s failures. Few would argue, as an example, that Dick Pound was willing to overlook controversial subjects for individual or organizational gain. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Olympic leaders with Pound’s integrity remained far too few for much too long. During his presidency of the IOC, for instance, Avery Brundage was too enmeshed in notions of amateurism to spend much time on “insignificant” matters like doping; his successor, Lord Killanin, bumbled his John Hoberman, Mortal Engines: The Science of Performance and the Dehumanization of Sport (New York: Free Press, 1992) way through eight years of leadership, accomplishing little; perhaps worst of all, Juan Antonio Samaranch chose to largely ignore the issue in pursuit of ever more lucrative economic rewards. Even during the last several years, those willing to take a stand against the status quo were often punished; it was no accident that Dick Pound finished third in the 2001 IOC presidential election. If one wished to dampen the prospects for success in the battle against doping, organizational decentralization, venality, and individual indifference therefore provided a potent mixture.
Even when progress was made, plans for reform were usually prepared only after the occurrence of some “focusing event” that frightened policymakers into action. This shortcoming was perhaps best articulated at a November 2000 meeting of the WADA Foundation Board by member Paul Henderson, who observed, “No good lesson was ever learnt except through the eyes of disaster.”2 Although the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the Olympics was known to occur prior to 1960, serious dialogue regarding the subject did not begin until the death of Knud Jensen in that year’s Rome Olympic Games.
While regulations against doping were gradually instituted over the next decade, the powers to enforce them remained dispersed among the various components of the movement’s governance system. Despite periodic efforts at reform, this framework was maintained until public authorities threatened to intervene after Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for an anabolic steroid at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Even then, it took policymakers over a decade to implement a more integrated regime through the creation of the World Anti-Doping Agency in November 1999. To their credit, anti-doping authorities, freed from the problems created by the previously fragmented regulatory system with the creation of WADA and the ratification of the World Anti-Doping Code, began to plan in advance for the scientific advances that will collectively constitute the future of doping. During the first decade of the twenty-first century, for example, several conferences were held regarding the possible applications of genomics to athletic enhancement. Speaking to the anticipated benefits of this early start, WADA member Theodore Friedmann thus asserted, “There is a much greater level of awareness, and that’s the starting point. The World Anti-Doping Code even included a provision that “the use of genetic transfer technology to dramatically enhance sport performance should be prohibited as contrary to the spirit of sport even if it is not harmful.
The tragedy is that however admirable, these developments are too late to definitively “win” the war against doping in the Olympics. The fact is that we live in a performance-enhanced society. Examples of this abound: the stimulant Dexedrine was used by military pilots in the Gulf War of 1990, college students regularly take amphetamine-based psychiatric drugs in pursuit of higher grade-point averages and an increasing number of non-elderly individuals are prescribed testosterone and human growth hormone to counteract the effects of aging. In the Olympics, this “medicalized” environment has led to acceptable forms and levels of “soft doping.” Under current WADA guidelines, for example, a competitor’s testosterone to epitestosterone ratio must exceed 4.0 before a urine sample is submitted to isotopic ratio mass spectrometry.
Because this ratio far exceeds that which is ordinarily found in the human body, athletes are consequently allowed to “cheat” within arbitrarily-constructed limits.6 The genetic revolution will only make matters worse; alluding to novelist Aldous Huxley’s gloomy vision of the human future, Pound thus stated, “The drug problem is the devil we know . . . and here we are at the beginning of a brave new world.
The dilemmas presented by these prospects were perhaps best put in March 2002 by Joseph Glorioso, director of the Pittsburgh Human Gene Therapy Center, in a question that cut to the heart of the future of doping. “How do we distinguish enhancement from treatment?” he wondered. Elucidating the answer will be the central challenge for future Olympic policymakers.

2007 Report to the commissioner of baseball of an independent investigation into the illegal use of steroids and other performance enhancing substances by players in major league baseball - Mitchell Report

13 Dec 2007

Report to the commissioner of baseball of an independent investigation into the illegal use of steroids and other performance enhancing substances by players in major league baseball / George J. Mitchell. - Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, 2007

The Report, informally known as the "Mitchell Report," is the result of former Democratic United States Senator from Maine George J. Mitchell's 21-month investigation into the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) in Major League Baseball (MLB). The 409-page report, released on December 13, 2007, covers the history of the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances by players and the effectiveness of the MLB Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The report also advances certain recommendations regarding the handling of past illegal drug use and future prevention practices. In addition, the report names 89 MLB players who are alleged to have used steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

The report describes motivations for its preparation, including health effects of steroids, legal issues, fair play, and reports that baseball players acted as role models for child athletes. For example, after news coverage in August 1998 that Mark McGwire had used the then-legal androstenedione, a steroid precursor, sales of the supplement increased over 1000%, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that 8% of male high school senior athletes had used androstenedione in 2001.

Mitchell reported that during the random testing in 2003, 5 to 7 percent of players tested positive for steroid use. Players on the forty-man roster of major league teams were exempt from testing until 2004. One player is quoted: "Forty-man [roster] guys already have all of the [major league] club advantages, and then they could use steroids . . . it was not a level playing field."

According to the report, after mandatory random testing began in 2004, HGH became the substance of choice among players, as it was not then detectable in tests. Also, it was noted that at least one player from each of the thirty Major League Baseball teams was involved in the alleged violations

2008 Doping in professional sport

1 Jun 2008

Doping in professional sport / Christophe Brissonneau. - 2008
Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies, European Parliament. - IP/B/CULT/IC/2007-067 PE 405.404

This study examines the current and future ways in which doping can be detected by reviewing the various practices and sporting disciplines. Beyond a simple description, the study takes a wider look at the reasons behind the fight against doping, illustrating models which vary in how they address this important issue.
Suggestions are also made on how the EU should tackle doping in future, based on the various models described.

2010 Does the fight against doping violate human rights?

25 Oct 2010

Schendt dopingbestrijding mensenrechten? / Gerke Berenschot. - Maastricht University, 2010 [master thesis]

One of the issues in this thesis is the question if Anti-Doping organisations should pay compensation to persons who were wrongfully accused for a doping violation. With a thorough equation of the legal issues and the applicability of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The author concludes that a well-balanced anti-doping ruling, which secures the rights of the athlete, can lead towards more comprehension of the anti-doping organisations and lesser distrust.

2010 Trafficking of doping products in Belgium: A critical analysis of policies

17 May 2010

Dopinghandel in België : Een kritische analyse van het beleid / Sofie Picavet en Tom Decorte [promoter]. - Law faculty Ghent

Thesis for requiring a master degree in criminal law.

Analysis of the trafficking of doping product in Belgium seen from the supply and demand chain and the parties involved to tackle the trafficking in doping products towards a dopingfree sport. The analysis was based on the ideas of D. Weatherburn related to "market disruption". Weatherburn claims that reducing the supply of drugs will make it more expensive and so reduce the demand for illegal drugs.
With recommendations for better cooperation to tackle the market.
Also included the history of doping.

2012 Doping cases before the CAS

1 Jul 2012

Doping cases before the CAS / Kutlu Tariman. - Tilburg University and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2012

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was founded in 1983 with the idea to create a court that has jurisdiction specifically in sports.1 The CAS first has been an appeal court since 1991, when the FEI in its statutes inserted an arbitration clause allowing its members to appeal against its decisions. The Code of Sports-related Arbitration and Mediation Rules was adopted in 1994. By the end of 2000, around 43 international federations officially recognized the CAS. Doping cases account for a large number of the rulings rendered by the CAS. Through these rulings, the CAS developed some judicial principles such as strict liability, burden and standard of proof and doping sanctions.
The thesis is designed to be a case review. Although all the publicly available doping rulings of the CAS between 1994 and April 2012 is read, critically appraised and referred to during the case review when it is relevant, the thesis will mainly focus on the some of the most debated issues in these rulings, i.e. procedural issues, presumption of guilt, the burden and standard of proof and the sanctions. The cases tried to be listed according to the date of the award and the applicability of the principles after the adoption of the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC).

The CAS developed a very wide body of rulings in the area of doping and these rulings form an integral part of the fight against doping. According to the CAS, fight against doping can only be done within the limits of law. Therefore, it seems like the CAS does not create a practice that has no legal basis. Although there are some general evaluations, the CAS has not controlled the validity of the regulations of federations. In addition, the CAS has been very careful not to create a doping offence through its rulings. The approach shows that the work of the arbitrators is limited to the interpretation of the statutes and regulations in force but not to make law. Furthermore, the rulings evaluated shows that the CAS jurisprudence reflects the changes WADC brought. For instance, the consistent application of a different approach in the athlete’s standard of proof, i.e. balance of probability standard, after the adoption of the WADC is a clear example of this. Additionally, one would not be mistaken if he assumes that the CAS is careful to apply the provisions of the WADC as long as it is possible.

2012 Prescribed drugs at the Olympic Games: permitted use and misuse (doping) by athletes

1 Jan 2012

Prescribed drugs at the Olympic Games: permitted use and misuse (doping) by athletes / Ken Fitch. - Clinical Medicine 2012, Vol 12, No 3: 257–260 (Olympic special)

Athletes have always sought to outperform their competitors and regrettably some have resorted to misuse of drugs or doping to achieve this. Stimulants were taken by the first Olympic athletes to be disqualified in 1972. Although undetectable until 1975, from the 1950's androgenic anabolic steroids were administered for increased strength and power followed in the 1990's by erythropoietin for enhanced endurance. Both are highly effective doping agents. As analytical science validated improved techniques to identify these drugs, Olympic athletes, including many medalists were caught and disqualified. When the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prohibited beta blockers (beneficial in shooting), diuretics (assist weight classified athletes) and glucocorticosteroids, some athletes with genuine medical conditions were denied legitimate medical therapy. To overcome this, in 1992 the IOC introduced a system known now as Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). This paper discusses Olympic athletes who have been known to dope at past Games and some medical indications and pitfalls in the TUE process.

Drugs have long been, and will continue to be, a focus of attention at elite sporting competitions, including the Olympic Games. Unfortunately and too often, misuse of prohibited performance enhancing drugs tends to overshadow the outstanding sporting achievements of clean athletes. Elite athletes, similar to their non- or less athletic counterparts, do experience medical conditions that necessitate treatment with drugs that are prohibited in sport. Fortunately, a tightly regulated process does enable both the therapeutic needs of most of these athletes to be met and for them to participate at the highest levels of sport.

2013 Sports arbitration

1 Jan 2013

Sports arbitration / Antonio Rigozzi and William McAuliffe
In: The European, Middle Eastern and African Arbitration Review / 2013. - P. 15-22, 118. - Global arbitration review [© Law Business Research Ltd]

Given that the sports industry is estimated to account for between 3 and 6 per cent of total world trade, it comes as no surprise that it is also a major source of legal disputes. Of particular interest to the international arbitration community, however, is the fact that arbitration is now firmly established as the dispute resolution method of choice throughout the sports industry, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne now receiving a new case almost every working day.
Although sports arbitration shares many characteristics with commercial or investment arbitration, and although many sports arbitrators also sit in standard commercial and investment cases, it also has many interesting features that distinguish it from nonsports-related arbitration. For example, most arbitration practitioners would probably be surprised to learn that some of the world’s leading sports arbitral awards were issued at the conclusion of an expedited 24-hour arbitral process involving all-night deliberations by the arbitral tribunal. Another striking feature of sports arbitration is publicity: CAS arbitrators must be prepared not only to have their awards pored over by the parties to the arbitration, but also to have their findings analysed in detail by the world’s media and critiqued over morning coffee by millions of sports fans around the globe. The Swiss Supreme Court has even suggested that, although CAS cases are heard in private, should an athlete request it, it would be desirable for a public hearing to be held.

In conclusion, arbitration has proven to be an extremely successful method of resolving sports disputes, and as a result it has gained the favor and confidence of the sporting world. This success has inevitably led to a massive increase in the number of sports arbitrations taking place in recent years. Unfortunately, the expectations of the sports community, created largely by the high-profile activity of the CAS, are somewhat at odds with the
reality of many national level sports dispute resolution bodies, as well as some of the international ‘arbitral’ bodies that have been created by international federations.
Perhaps the greatest challenge that the sports arbitration community is now faced with is the need to put structures in place to ensure that the increase in the number of arbitrations does not lead to a decrease in the quality of the awards being issued. To this end, it is arguable that the bulk of resources, both financial and intellectual, should be dedicated to the establishment of a high-quality ‘national CAS’ in every country for the resolution of national level disputes, and a similarly high-quality arbitral body in each sport, to resolve international disputes. If these two types of bodies became established in each individual country and sport, the right of appeal to the CAS could be restricted, and the role of the CAS could evolve from that of a body which re-hears appeals on a de novo basis, to that of a review body whose primary function would be to scrutinize the procedural fairness of the arbitral proceedings at previous instances.
In effect, it would fulfill a similar role to that which is currently performed by the Swiss Supreme Court in relation to the CAS. This development would eventually lead to a pyramidal structure in the world of sports dispute resolution. National level athletes would have access to high-quality dispute resolution services in their own countries, which would eliminate language barriers and reduce the costs that are currently associated with international tribunals, thereby increasing access to justice. In addition, each sport would have its own independent arbitral service for
international disputes, which would ensure even greater understanding of disputes by arbitral tribunals.
This structure would allow the CAS to utilize its resources in a new way. During the early stages of this development, it could share its institutional knowledge and the experience of its secretariat to assist with the creation of the new arbitral bodies. Then, once the bodies are established, the role of the CAS, at the top of the pyramid, would be that of a watchdog, or a safety net, to ensure that fairness and independence were being maintained at all times. In this way, the CAS would play a significant role in ensuring that both domestic and international arbitral tribunals maintain a high standard of arbitral awards in sports arbitration, while providing an even more accessible and specialized arbitral service to sports people and sporting entities worldwide.

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