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Take Care with Supplements


Athlete’s are constantly looking to gain that extra advantage over their rivals. This advantage often crosses over into the realm of supplement and energy drink use, which suffice to say is a grey area for many.

Misleading packaging and ingredient labelling often confuses athletes as to whether the products are safe from banned illegal performance enhancing products. Food labelling laws vary between countries, meaning substances present in some products aren’t listed as an ingredient. Many products are often produced and packed in environments where other products are present which could lead to the probability of cross contamination. A significant number of positive dope tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements and ingesting a poorly labeled supplement is not always an adequate defence in a doping hearing – the sole responsibility lies with the athlete’s themselves.

Supplements cover a wide range of products from capsules, pills, liquid or powder form. Many are produced with low quality control and fall well below the regulatory standards used in medicine and food production environments.

Contrary to popular opinion, the World Anti-Doping Agency does not approve supplements as safe to use. However, they do have the power to seek individual testing of products requested by an anti-doping organisation as part of a doping case investigation. Even at this, the laboratory that carries out testing is prohibited to provide results, documentation or advice that, in any way, suggests the endorsement of any supplement.

Our advice to athletes is to always use caution when choosing and taking supplements, check all products yourself and know the risks you may be taking before use. A good healthy diet and lifestyle should be implemented before considering the use of supplements. We also recommend you speak to a qualified nutritionist prior to considering the use of products.

An good ASADA (Australian Anti-Doping Authority) video relating to the use of supplement use can be viewed here: