The History of BSCG
a renowned leader in sports drug testing has become a trusted provider of third-party testing and certification
For more than three decades, the Catlin standard of excellence in analytical testing has been a driving force within international sport drug testing. Often described as a father of drug testing in sports, Don H. Catlin, M.D., founded the first anti-doping lab in the United States in 1982 and established testing methods and approaches that remain the Olympic benchmarks today. The Catlin team has provided testing services to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), MLB, NFL, NCAA, the U.S. military, the FIFA World Cup, and several Olympic Games.
Drawing the line between drugs and dietary supplements became increasingly complex in the 1990s as substances like Ephedrine, Androstenedione and other new designer drugs became popular ingredients in dietary supplement products. Sport authorities and regulators like the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) struggled with positive drug tests and growing health concerns.
Dr. Catlin and his team were at the forefront of the efforts to ensure supplement safety for athletes and consumers. In a seminal article published in 2000 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), they were the first to highlight the concern that legal supplements could be contaminated with illegal drugs. Catlin’s group was also first to identify and expose infamous new designer drugs including 6-OXO, Madol, Methasterone, Methylhexaneamine, and Tren that were masquerading as ‘legal’ supplements. They worked alongside the FDA, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), and media such as The Washington Post to expose and combat these problematic substances.
Unfortunately, federal regulations (outlined in the U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994; and the FDA’s 21 C.F.R. 111 – Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for Dietary Supplements) have not been adequately designed or enforced to prevent dangerous drugs from adulterating dietary supplements.
In 2004, Dr. Catlin and his son Oliver Catlin sought to remedy supplement quality control and safety concerns by introducing BSCG (Banned Substances Control Group), helping to found the industry of third-party supplement testing and certification. BSCG’s rigorous, independent testing of supplements and a range of products and product ingredients has enabled manufacturers and suppliers to establish their brands and products as safe, reputable, and drug free, and has provided consumers and athletes with trusted supplement options.