Recently, the sporting world has been rocked by a number of high profile athletes failing drug tests. As is so often the case, the finger of blame has again been pointed at dietary supplements. The difference being, that this time, the athletes might just have a point!
Taking Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell as an example, they were amongst six athletes to fail a drugs test in the space of 24 hours. It would be easy to suppose that wide spread doping was going on – after all, most of the athletes were from the same training camp. However, upon closer inspection, the dietary supplement excuse quickly becomes more of a reason than an excuse.
It has been widely reported that the banned substance responsible for the failed tests was Oxilofrine. For most, Oxilofrine means very little. Oxilofrine is classed as an amphetamine. Interestingly, another name for Oxilofrine is Methyl-Synephrine which can be found in several dietary supplements.
Even the agency responsible for testing, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) state that “there is a greater likelihood that these substances could be susceptible to a credible non-doping explanation” in reference to substances similar to Oxilofrine.
For an athlete, this gets pretty confusing: Methyl-Synephrine isn’t specifically listed on the WADA list and even WADA admit that failures could be down to a “credible non-doping explanation.” This doesn’t really help athletes like Tyson Gay who is left with a reputation in tatters and sponsorship contracts ripped up on the spot.
Oxilofrine isn’t the only problematic substance; there have reports of a popular dietary supplement testing up as containing Methamphetamine. Coincidentally, there have been several reports of athletes failing drugs tests…for Methamphetamine.
So, assuming supplements have been to blame for positive tests, where does that leave consumers?
- Use brands you consider to be reputable
- If a product is receiving rave reviews for its drug like effects…it could be too good to be true
- Look for the Informed Sport logo. BULK POWDERS™ purchases our Pure Whey Protein™, Pure Whey Protein Isolate™ 90 and many of our capsule and tablet products from Informed Choice accredited suppliers.
- If you’ve not heard of an ingredient, do your research.
- Does the brand associate itself with drug tested athletes? While this isn’t a failsafe (as proven above!), many teams/athletes will do due diligence on the supplement company they are associated with. BULK POWDERS™ couldn’t be associated with Olympic Gold Medallist James DeGale without full knowledge of our supply chain.
- Use common sense!
Hopefully, sticking to the tips above will result in you only buying quality, reputable, supplements that contain exactly what they say.