THE USE OF NUTRITIONAL OR DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS IS COMPLETELY AT THE ATHLETE’S OWN RISK, EVEN IF THE SUPPLEMENTS ARE “APPROVED” OR “VERIFIED”.
Anti-Doping Singapore (ADS) does not recommend or advocate that athletes take any supplements, as supplements are not subject to the same rigorous standards as pharmaceutical drugs. Supplements may contain impurities that are not specified on the label, and the impurities may contain prohibited substances.
THE RISK OF SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements are not strictly regulated in many countries, including Singapore. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is also not involved in testing supplements. For this reason, ADS and other organisations, including WADA and IOC cannot “approve”, “endorse” or confirm the status of any supplement product. Athletes who test positive for a prohibited substance in a supplement may face the same penalties as someone who is deliberately using the substance to cheat.
Understand what are the issues and risks associated with the use of supplements by athletes at the Supplement 411 website created by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Find out what the experts are saying about the use of supplements in sport. Click here to watch an interview with Professor Ron Maughan from Loughborough University.
SUPPLEMENT COMPANY GUARANTEES
Some trade associations and reputable companies are attempting to test supplements and are even “verifying” or “certifying” that certain nutritional or dietary supplements are safe for athletes and others to use. Athletes need to be aware that these verification or certification programs do not guarantee that those dietary or nutritional supplements are free from prohibited substances which can cause an athlete to test positive. In some instances, product ingredients that may contain prohibited substances are also not being listed on the label.
While some supplement manufacturers may guarantee the ingredients in their product, or that the use of the product will not result in a positive test, the athlete is still responsible if a prohibited substance or method is detected. Strict liability applies. Ignorance is no excuse.
Under the World Anti-Doping Code’s strict liability clause, athletes are responsible for any substance found in their body no matter how it came to be there. If an athlete tests positive for a prohibited substance, it is likely to result in an automatic disqualification from competition and may lead to a sanction and period of ineligibility.