A product called Testis compositum is also marketed as a sexual enhancer, good for stamina. Some online retailers advertise oral and injectable forms as testosterone boosters and say it can aid sexual performance and offer relief from nocturnal emissions.
South African police said during Pistorius' bail hearing that they found needles in Pistorius' bedroom along with the substance, which they initially named as testosterone. Prosecutors later withdrew that statement identifying the substance and said it had been sent for laboratory tests and couldn't be named until those tests were completed.
Pistorius family spokesperson Lunice Johnston said in an email to The Associated Press today that the athlete's lawyers had confirmed that the substance is Testis compositum. In court last week, Pistorius' defense lawyer Barry Roux said the substance was not banned by sports authorities, but it had been unclear what it was and what the exact name was.
A U.S. subsidiary, Heel USA Inc., says the product is sold in tablet form only and the firm's website claims it provides temporary relief for men's "sexual weakness" and lack of stamina.
The U.S.-sold tablets contains 23 ingredients including pig testicles, pig heart, pig embryo and pig adrenal gland. It also includes cortisone, ginseng with other botanicals and minerals, said a spokeswoman.
Charles Yesalis, a Penn State professor emeritus and expert on steroid use in sports, said animal steroids likely wouldn't have an athletic performance-enhancing effect unless taken in huge quantities. Even so, he said many elite athletes would be wary of using such supplements because they can be laced with banned substances and few would want to risk it.
Pistorius — the double-amputee, Olympic sprinter known as Blade Runner — was charged with premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day. He claims he thought the 29-year-old model was an intruder in his home.