For anyone deeply engrossed in the world of sports supplements you might have heard the name of Matt Cahill. Over almost a 12 year career of creating series of products and companies in the supplement industry he has taken fire on what seems like a constant basis.
In 2002 a young girl died from weight loss pills she had bought over the internet from Cahill’s company, according to Federal investigators. The pills contained DNP which os found in explosives and used in pesticides and is definitely banned for human use. DNP had its start as a weight- loss pill in the early 30’s but after about 2,500 reports of cataracts, loss of sight and dying was quickly removed from the market. So how did Cahill get this powder? He used an alias of Brandon Walsh and lied to a West Virginia supply company saying that he owned a landscaping company and was going to use it as a insecticide. Mixing it with baking powder and using an encapsulator branded them as weight loss pills and sold them over the internet. Cahill and his long time friend turned business partner Jason Sacks, pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and introducing a misbranded drug into commerce and each received a 24 month prison sentence, though not right away.
It took years for them to actually begin the sentence and in that time launched another series of business ventures. Shortly after his plea deal of DNP he started a new company of Designer Supplements. Using this company he introduced an infamous steroid by the name of Superdrol.
The idea behind Superdrol hit Cahill after he “found the chemical name in a book that contains a bunch of other steroids,” in which he declared in a 2008 deposition. Also testifying that he found a company in China for the powdered compound, other firms to encapsulate and put into bottles and another to make labels for it. The steroid he calls Mathesteron had never been used on humans before he also admitted in the deposition. Though he read studies of other similar compounds and concluded “In low doses, in short periods of time, it was relatively safe.“. Thinking he was qualified for such a determination “I had a scientific background in school, I just don’t have a degree.”
At the time Superdrol’s batches were going out, Cahill’s incarceration was looming near. He quickly sold Superdrol to a the company Anabolic Resources for a one-time payment and royalties. He also tried to cover up his upcoming prison time by saying he was going on a research trip. “He said he had to go overseas and work in different areas to find unique ingredients and botanicals. We believed every word of it.” says Kevin Smith, the president of Anabolic Resources at the time. Also stating on his Designer Supplements website, “in order for me to continue my passion of finding, synthesizing and creating new, cutting edge products, I need to work less on the daily operations of the business and spend more time researching and traveling to various suppliers and chem houses,”.
While Cahil was “away” the FDA sent a warning letter telling Anabolic Resources to recall Superdrol. “That’s when we started getting calls of liver problems” Smith said. “When you get reports of people being injured from your products, there’s no worse feeling.”
In 2008 Cahill delivered yet another product that’s under fire, Rebound XT. Rebound XT was used to control estrogen levels that can rise after steroids and pro-hormones. Cahill described Rebound XT as legal to Smith because it can be traced back to the food supply. Last August federal officials thought differently and filed court papers charging Cahill with introduction and delivery of unapproved drugs into interstate commerce. With Rebound XT in 2008, the governemnt says is an aromatase inhibitor that reduces estrogen. This case still remains open.
Cahill shut down Designer Supplements near the end of 2008 and wrote on bodybuilding.com, “There are several reasons that have contributed to this but right now it’s nothing I can discuss. Just so we are all clear, Im not going anywher! I love this work and have TONS of great formulas“. Which he has, Driven Sports.
Incorporated in July of 2008 with his wife labeled as CEO and him as “VP of Operations” the company has pushed out several products. Though in 2011 a pre-workout powder, Craze, really took off and was named 2012’s “New Supplement of the Year” by bodybuilding.com. Craze lists a number of ingredients with one hardly anyone hearing before: dendrobium extract. Dendrobium, being a memeber of the orchid family and used in trditional Chinese medicine, is being discussed on supplement industry websites as the new DMAA. DMAA was a popular stimulant that some supplement makers claimed came from geraniums. The FDA found no evidence of DMAA being natural and severely halted its use in 2012 after reports of heart problems, nervous system disorders and death.
Now Dendrobium is being questioned as natural as well. in June 2012 the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency did tests on samples of Crazy and found several amphetamine and amphetamine-related compounds. They’ve labeled Craze on their site as a “High Risk Dietary Supplement”. In April, the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science also sampled Craze and found amphetamine similar substances: phenethylamine and N-ethyl-1-phenyl-butan-2-amine.
Driven sports has posted their lab results and denies that Craze is spiked stating “Further proof that Craze does not contain amphetamines.” In an email to USA TODAY emphasized that his company “commissioned extensive testing of Craze from a reputable, independent laboratory.The product conforms with all regulatory requirements and is safe when used as directed.“.
Last November a report to the FDA about a 15 year old boy had used Craze and later found “unconscious and unresponsive”. A further CAT scan and other tests revealed that “the product he drank tested positive for amphetamine,” accordiing to the parents report.
Even after the controversy around Craze lengthens and intensifies Craze is still selling strong. Bodybuilding.com has it listed as 1 of 12 nominees for 2013’s Pre-Workout Supplement of the Year with the winner being announced in September.
The FDA does not regulate the dietary supplement industry and asks people who do delve into the industry to be extremely careful. It is just a shame when someone is just trying to get in the best shape possible the right way and has their dreams shattered, health problems or death because guys like Cahill just want to make money.