Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use, including those claiming to be ‘safe for athletes to take’!
Athletes must be fully aware of the risks to their career when using a supplement product for they are solely responsible for any prohibited substances they use, attempt to use or is found in their system regardless of how it got there and if there was an intention to cheat.
See WADA’s Q&A on Strict Liability in Anti-Doping
What Athletes should know:
- There are no guarantees that any supplement product does not contain prohibited substances.
- Neither WADA nor the IF is involved in any supplement certification process and therefore do not certify or endorse manufacturers or their products. WADA and the IF do not control the quality or the claims of the supplements industry.
- A number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements, poor labelling or contamination of dietary supplements.
- The use of dietary supplements by athletes is a concern because in many countries the manufacturing and labelling of supplements may not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under Anti-Doping regulations.
- Taking a poorly labelled dietary supplement is not an adequate defence in a doping hearing.
- Athletes must carry out thorough internet research before using any supplement. Not knowing is not an excuse! If they test positive, they will have to prove how the prohibited substance entered their system.
- The JJIF Anti-Doping Rules makes provision for contaminated products. Athlete should ensure that they can prove that they have taken all steps to manage the risks associated with the use of supplement.
WADA’S Q&A ON SUPPLEMENTS:
Q: ARE SUPPLEMENTS SAFE TO TAKE?
Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use.
The use of dietary supplements by athletes is a serious concern because in many countries the manufacturing and labeling of supplements do not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under anti-doping regulations. A significant number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements and attributing an Adverse Analytical Finding to a poorly labeled dietary supplement is not an adequate defense in a doping hearing.
The risks of taking supplements should be weighed against the potential benefit that may be obtained, and athletes must appreciate the negative consequences of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as a result of taking a contaminated supplement.
Use of supplement products that have been subjected to one of the available quality assurance schemes can help to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of an inadvertent doping infringement.
Q: CAN A DIETARY/NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT COMPANY HAVE THEIR SUPPLEMENTS TESTED BY WADA?
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is not involved in the testing of dietary/nutritional supplements.
The Laboratory Code of Ethics, in the International Standard for Laboratories (Section 3.3.5 of Annex A), states that WADA-accredited laboratories shall not engage in analyzing commercial material or preparations (e.g. dietary supplements) unless specifically requested by an Anti-Doping Organization as part of a doping case investigation. The Laboratory shall not provide results, documentation or advice that, in any way, suggests endorsement of products or services.
Q: CAN A SUPPLEMENT COMPANY HAVE THEIR PRODUCTS APPROVED BY WADA?
WADA is not involved in any certification process regarding supplements and therefore does not certify or endorse manufacturers or their products. WADA does not control the quality or the claims of the supplements industry which may, from time to time, claim that their products have been approved or certified by WADA.
If a company wishes to promote its products to the sport community, it is their responsibility as a manufacturer to ensure that the products do not lead to any anti-doping rule violation. Some third-party testers of supplements exist, and this may reduce the risk of contamination but not eliminate it.