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Dienedione (Tren) Set to be Banned in the UK

A bit of news from across the pond:

The wheels have been set in motion for the “tren” prohormone dienedione to be banned in the UK, as the government’s scientific advisory team has recommended scheduling the compound along with other steroids under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.


Dienedione / Tren; also known as estra-4,9-diene-3,17-dione and 19-norandrosta-4,9(10)-diene-3,17-dione

Dienedione, commonly known as “tren” or “x-tren”, was one of the most popular “prohormone” products of the noughties, being sold from 2003 until finally becoming illegal in the United States in January 2010.

Although it was known as “tren”, it did not convert into the veterinary steroid trenbolone as was initially suggested by some, instead converting in vivo into the steroid dienolone;[1] structurally similar to trenbolone, but with one less double bond.

Will doping allegations lead to action?

This advice from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) comes hot on the heels of the high-profile doping case of Welsh middle-distance runner Gareth Warburton, who tested positive for dienolone – a metabolite of dienedione – after unknowingly ingesting a contaminated supplement.

The probable next step will be a Misuse of Drugs Act amendment order to add dienedione to Part 3 of the Schedule as a Class C drug, in much the same way as 15 anabolic steroids were added to the Act in 2009 (S.I. 2009/3136). The net effect of such an amendment order will be minimal; a few products will disappear, although these seemed to be drying up anyway since the compound was banned in the primary market of the US.

The wheels are in motion…

Will it happen? Almost certainly. The ACMD aren’t likely to reverse their decision (as they did when presented with the facts over 7-keto DHEA), and the current Conservative government are taking a hard line on drugs policy.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch last year asked officials to look into making sports doping a criminal offence, while Home Secretary Theresa May is sticking stubbornly to her unenforceable and disproportionate ban on all psychoactive substances, ignoring the advice of the ACMD who have been trying to tactfully steer her towards a workable bill on legal highs.

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  1. Scarth, J; “Comparative in vitro metabolism of the ‘designer’ steroid estra-4,9-diene-3,17-dione between the equine, canine and human: identification of target metabolites for use in sports doping control”; Steroids; 2010 Oct; 75(10):643-52; Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20381511
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