Sports Talk

Viagra isn’t banned, ExtenZe is

A pointed comment from Bears receiver Brandon Marshall has opened a new avenue of unexpected NFL discourse.

Marshall, for those of you who missed it, claims that some NFL players use Viagra as a performance-enhancing substance.  Though there have been questions as to whether it assists with blood flow generally (and not just, you know, specifically), the World Anti-Doping Agency looked into banning the substance (the 2008 headline in the New York Daily News said that WADA was taking a “hard look” at the drug) but has not yet added it to the list.

The NFL hasn’t banned it, either.  It appears nowhere on the list of banned substances, and the league office has confirmed that Viagra is not prohibited.

But here’s the unexpected twist.  ExtenZe, a non-prescription male enhancement supplement endorsed by former Dolphins and Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson, is prohibited both by WADA and the NFL.  ExtenZe, as it turns out, includes the steroid Dehydroepiandrosterone.

It’s something U.S. Olympic sprinter LaShawn Merritt learned, yes, the hard way, accepting a two-year ban in 2010 after testing positive for the banned substance three times.

To summarize:  Viagra good, ExtenZe bad.

We also suggest staying away from Propecia.  As it turns out, the active ingredient masks something other than baldness.