The sports supplement industry is stunned that a Tribulus herb-based product (a/k/a Tribustol), is now approved and certified, and NES Company is the pioneer who has made it happen. This is no joke – you read it right and I am stoked, as you would not believe! I am so excited that I want to share the story of how it happened because it really has been quite an adventure!
While searching for the best certification program available for Tribustol, I reached out to Anthony Amada (Gener8speed Co.) and Co-Founder of the EAS Company. Anthony highly recommended the company, Banned Substance Control Group or “BSCG”.
Never heard of them – neither had I – or so I thought! Let me digress and give you a little background so you can understand part of why I am so excited about this certification. BSCGs’ Founder is one of the world’s leading drug testing researchers in the World – Dr. Don Catlin.
Dr. Catlin has been at the forefront of anti-doping research and testing. He founded the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory in 1982 and oversaw the drug testing at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. This was the first IOC-accredited lab in the United States and only the fourth in the world. Under his 25-year stewardship as director, the UCLA Olympic Lab gained WADA accreditation and grew to become the world’s largest testing facility.
At the lab, Dr. Catlin oversaw the testing for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, the 1994 Soccer World Cup, and the testing of anabolic agents at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. He has also performed testing on behalf of the U.S. Olympic Committee, NCAA, Major League Baseball’s minor leagues, and the National Football League.
BSCG was and still is a leader in testing and accrediting sport supplements with the background of drug testing for three decades making the transition very easy.
I had many discussions with Oliver Catlin while in pursuit of its certification category: “Elite/Sport Professional”. We here at NES were not willing to simply accept a lesser more generic certification (consumer certification); we wanted the best certification BSCG had available! In doing so, Oliver Catlin (Dr. Catlin’s son) told us “many anti doping agencies including US anti-doping were very leery of classifying Tribulus herb supplements as safe in passing drug testing”. He also told me that up until now, no other company manufacturer of Tribulus products had ever approached BSCG for their certification programs. However, as the Developer of Tribustol and Owner of NES, I was confident I could convince BSCG to admit Tribustol into their certification program. We spent over 6 months meeting and providing data as requested by BSCG in order to elicit scientific data showing proof that herbs such as Tribulus and Tribustol had no side effects, and proof of athletes passing drug test(s). There was a pivotal time in which BSCG felt compelled to make a stance in which to allow a tribulus supplement into their certification program because, during a world competition in Europe an athlete failed a drug test and he claimed he was taking a tribulus supplement. Oliver felt compelled to believe that if BSCG does not take responsibility (despite the Anti-Doping Agencies negative opinions) in certifying safe tribulus supplements then more failed drug tests could occur. Unfortunately, this was also the opinion of the European Coach whose athlete had failed the drug test. Things were looking and feeling rather bleak regarding getting Tribustol certified. Finally, in the spring of 2012 BSCG informed me that they would allow the Tribustol product into their program; however, BSCG warned me that recently independent assays (tests) of Tribulus herb raw material had been detected with anabolic agents. I was still ever confident and as bad as this could prove to be, it did not discourage NES from continuing to pursue certification. We spared no expense; we paid the additional fees to have the Tribustol herb raw materials tested before providing the final product. Tribustol went through all the rigid testing BSCG required and in the end BSCG informed NES Company that Tribustol had passed the testing program and would be accredited and granted the “Elite/Professional Certification” the highest certification available through Banned Substance Control Group “BSCG”.
I will never forget the day Oliver Catlin called and told me, “Congratulations Tribustol has become the first Tribulus supplement Certified in the World!”
Wow! What an incredible feeling – when I think about it, I still get excited! My career in sports supplements (and, unbeknownst to me then, the conceptual beginnings of Tribustol) all began while conducting one of the first scientific studies for Creatine Mono Hydrate. Today, I can proudly say that not only did I develop the Tribustol product but have also persevered to make it the first Tribulus supplement Certified in the World.