(Ottawa, Ontario – March 1, 2012) – The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) advises athletes and support personnel that supplements and sport nutrition products continue to be the source of doping violations, around the world and here at home.
“Many Canadian athletes take supplements, including pre-workout products, protein powders, energy drinks and vitamins,” said Paul Melia, President and CEO of the CCES. “Many of these products contain banned substances, which may be revealed only after they cause a positive test. I don’t think athletes fully appreciate the damage that taking supplements could do to their athletic career.”
A good example of this major problem is the high number of recent violations for methylhexaneamine. On the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, methylhexaneamine (dimethylpentylamine) is listed as a stimulant, prohibited in-competition.
Supplements are tricky because their labels cannot be trusted. Some manufacturers are up front about the fact that their products contain banned substances and list them on the label. Other manufacturers produce supplements that contain banned substances that are NOT listed on the label, either deliberately or due to contamination.
Examples of products that currently list some form of methylhexaneamine as an ingredient on the label include:
These manufacturers are quite straightforward about the doping risk to athletes. The USPlabs website currently states: “As with any dietary supplement, consult with your representative from the testing agency to ensure your supplementation is within guidelines. We strongly recommend you do not use any dietary supplement before getting clearance from your governing body. If you cannot obtain clearance, do not use the product.”
At a minimum, athletes must check the product label for methylhexaneamine. This stimulant, like many drugs, has several alternate names, including:
If any of these ingredients are listed on the label, the supplement will cause a positive drug test.
However, even if none of these ingredients are listed on the label, there remains the real risk of a positive test.
The most dangerous supplements are the ones that contain banned substances but don’t list them on the label. Methylhexaneamine may be introduced to a supplement through cross-contamination in the manufacturing process. It may be added to a supplement for its effects, but deliberately left off the ingredient list for a variety of reasons.
As a result, the CCES simply cannot guarantee that unregulated supplement products do not contained banned substances. We strongly recommend that athletes do not use supplements because of the risk of an inadvertent positive test. All athletes and their support personnel must understand that under the rules of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and the World Anti-Doping Code, athletes are strictly liable for any substance found in their doping control sample, regardless of how it got there.
The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is an independent, national, not-for profit organization. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. We are committed to working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.
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