Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler knew he had to drop a few pounds if he was going to break into the major leagues. So when he cracked open the bottle of Xenadrine RFA-1, swallowed three pills, and reported for spring training at Fort Lauderdale Stadium last February, he figured he was doing the right thing, just taking care of business.
Twenty-four hours later, Bechler was dead. He left behind a pregnant wife, a slew of grieving fans, and a raging controversy over an herbal supplement taken by millions of Americans.
Bechler never stood a chance. Desperate to lose weight quickly, he was precisely the sort of person supplement-makers target. Plagued with high blood pressure and abnormal liver function, the 23-year-old athlete was also precisely the sort of person most endangered by their wares.
Diet Supplements 101