May 2006


They’re attacking Patrick Arnold again. Admittedly, it’s easy to do. Arnold has admitted being the supplier of THG — "the clear" — to BALCO as part of a plea agreement, so he’s a criminal. Fine. His place in baseball infamy is secure, but now Amy Shipley of the Washington Post is going after his legal and unbanned products.

Including one that I use.

That’s right, I’ve been using Ergopharm’s AMP in a "stack" with Avant’s HEAT as part of my weight-loss program. I used Cellucor’s thermogenic originally, but my coffee and energy drink intake made taking most thermogenics redundant. Because HEAT and AMP don’t use the normal thermogenic pathways, they have more of an effect for me. I don’t think it’s significant; it helps, but exercise and eating right are far more important. To put  it simply, I’ll keep taking them — as long as they’re legal.

What I don’t get from AMP is any sort of "amphetamine" effect. I’m not wired, not jittery, and certainly not more awake. I don’t get the ephedrine-like sweats or flush. So why is Don Catlin, the scientist and MLB consultant that ‘discovered’ THG, going after this drug? Patrick Arnold makes it.

Arnold has always been something of a pariah outside the insular world of performance-enhancement. Inside it, he’s a rock star. That bothers a lot of people and the climate of chemical McCarthyism makes it easy to target Arnold or others. In my conversation with "Dr. X", one of the makers of THG, in "The Juice", I got at the attitude that these "body hackers" have. They’re not in it for money or glory, but merely because they can. AMP probably wouldn’t give it’s creator the rush of something like THG or DMT, but it’s not bad either, to find something that actually works and isn’t on the governments extensive controlled list.

Then again, AMP and its active ingredients are bound to make the next revision. There’s no good reason, but they don’t need one. Saying something is bad is enough in our faith-based drug testing system. Forget tests, results, and science when it’s easier to grandstand and draw an ethical line in the sand (all while shaking the grant cup for another government handout.)

Like andro, ephedrine, and prohormones, the government is going to act quickly to take our AMP and with it, a small but untrivial piece of our freedom. I take AMP and while it’s still within the original rules of my experiment, I’ll continue to do so. Then again, there’s always something coming next. Arnold has a little vacation coming up, but like the others in the BALCO case, we’ll hear more from him in the future.


For those wondering why I’ve been silent for the most part over the last couple weeks, it’s not because I quit the project. I did have a physical setback (shoulder injury) that limited my workouts, but I’ll be back in the gym soon. I also bought a bike now that it’s warm enough and look forward to adding a bit of Lance Armstrong to the program (ha!). My blog/silence has mostly been due to a rethinking of the spirit of blogging. The attention economy that underlies blogging is in a state of flux, so I’ve taken a step back both here and at my blog at Baseball Toaster to figure out how it fits in the Will Carroll Media Empire. (Yes, that’s a joke.) I’m sure I’ll write more about this later, but I’m trying to re-focus my energies and the great early season baseball has helped me do it.

Of course, blogging here at MLBlogs is easy – so easy that it’s hard to resist. Expect more soon as I continue my experiment.