According to news reports eight NFL players have tested positive for banned substances under the league's steroid policy, and four of these failed tests involve a diuretic called Bumantanide. The cover story being floated by the players alleged to have failed the drug tests is that the diuretic, or "water pill," was being used as a weight loss supplement, and news accounts report that this drug enables people to lose weight.
This is nonsense.
Bumantanide is a diuretic that is used by people suffering from edema as a result of heart failure, liver disease, and high blood pressure. This is a potent drug that needs to be taken under strict medical supervision. The weight loss that occurs from taking this medication is water weight that is caused by a person's diseased condition, and is thus not a weight-loss supplement in the truest sense of the word. Frankly, to assert that anyone would take this drug simply for weight loss, as if it were a matter of losing a few pounds, is an insult to our collective intelligence.
As the NFL attempts to come to grips with yet another spate of failed drug tests, expect loads of misinformation and disinformation as this story develops. Don't be fooled by the weight-loss cover story that is being fed by the league and regurgitated by the media, and don't be duped into thinking that elite athletes took this drug innocently.
Diuretics are used as a masking agent — a drug that masks the use of another, usually elicit drug — to help a drug user avoid failing a urine test. Simply put, diuretics produce an increase in the volume of urine and as a result hide traces of illegal drugs. The problem is that an athlete can get busted for using this category of drugs when there is no valid reason for them to have it in their system. In the case of Bumantanide, it is ludicrous to assert that a professional athlete would need to take this drug for weight-loss purposes.