Velvet antler in the form of deer antler spray has been at the center of multiple controversies with professional sports leagues and famous athletes allegedly using it for injury recovery and performance enhancement purposes.[18] In mid-2011 a National Football League (NFL) player successfully sued a deer antler velvet spray manufacturer for testing positive for methyltestosterone in 2009 for a total amount of 5.4 million US dollars.[19][20] In August 2011, Major League Baseball (MLB) added deer antler spray to their list of prohibited items because it contains "potentially contaminated nutritional supplements." [21]
A systemic review on human interventions[25] makes note of a study conducted on patients of osteoarthritis (Edelman et al. 2000; cannot be located online) which found improvements in joint pain symptoms relative to baseline in the Velvet Antler group and not placebo, although a lack of information on blinding and randomization precludes results that can be drawn from this study.