JOHANNESBURG – The substance found in Oscar Pistorius’ bedroom after the shooting death of his girlfriend was identified by his representatives Wednesday as Testis compositum – an herbal remedy they said is used for “muscle recovery.” A product by that name also is sold as a sexual enhancer.
Testis compositum is marketed by some online retailers in both oral and injectable forms as a testosterone booster and sexual performance aid that contains the testicles, heart and embryo of pigs, among other ingredients. Some online retailers also say it can be used to treat fatigue.
At the Paralympian’s bail hearing last week in the shooting death of Reeva Steenkamp, police said they found needles in Pistorius’ bedroom along with the substance, which a detective initially named in court as testosterone. Prosecutors later withdrew that statement identifying the substance and said it had been sent for lab tests and couldn’t be named until those tests were completed.
Pistorius spokeswoman Lunice Johnston said in an email to the Associated Press that the athlete’s lawyers had confirmed that the substance is Testis compositum.
In the email, Johnston wrote that the product was being used “in aid of muscle recovery.” She did not say whether the substance was the same as the product that is sold as a sex enhancer.
In court, Pistorius defense lawyer Barry Roux said the substance was not banned by sports authorities.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said its science department had already been made aware of the substance and that it wasn’t banned.
“It would appear to be a homeopathic treatment, and these treatments are not prohibited by the list,” WADA said in a statement to the AP.
Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, told the AP he had not heard of the product but that it sounded like “a real cocktail, all pointing in the same direction, namely having something to do with testosterone.”
“This sounds to me like something that needs to be analyzed in order to make sure what it is,” Ljungqvist said. “You cannot ban something simply on claims and names. It needs to be looked into. Even saying that it is testosterone boosting, it could contain some precursors. It needs to have some analysis.”