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Selecting a Supplement & WADA Regulations

Published : Sep 30, 2019 2 mins read Updated On : Jul 27, 2022

In the world where the winner takes it all, the athletes in elite sports want to win. In this pursuit, he tries all difficult things apart from his routine training to succeed. Sometimes he gets correct scientific advice that gives him an edge over others and sometimes not. In this article, we will try to understand why it is important to select a correct dope free supplement and the prevalent WADA regulations so that the athlete or the support staff can make an informed choice. It is known that every athlete uses some supplement or the other to be in the race and to improve his performance. Therefore it becomes more important to understand the regulations and remain dope free. The WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) was formed in 1999 to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms.

We know that supplements are taken to simply substitute a substance not taken with meals and sometimes to enhance his/her performance. The WADA oversees the effect of various substances that the athlete may misuse and if found guilty or ADRV (Anti Doping Rule Violations) the athlete is sanctioned. It is important to know the WADA’s strict liability clause which states that “Each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her bodily specimen, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance”.

WADA publishes the List (at least) annually on January 01st of each year, since 2004. The recent list has been published on 1st January 2019. For a substance or a method to be considered for inclusion in the List it must meet two of three criteria:

1) Enhances or has the potential to enhance athletic performance
2) Actual or potential risk to the athlete’s health
3) Violates the spirit of sport

Nutritional supplements are not named on the List but they may contain prohibited substances. Athletes must exhibit extreme caution and do everything to reduce the risk of inadvertent doping. So, it becomes more important for the athlete while selecting a supplement to-

1) To read the Label of the product and to verify the constituents.
2) To look for Manufacturer’s guarantee that the product is dope free.
3) Using products tested for the presence of prohibited substances.
4) To look for Food/ Supplement Contamination.

The athlete must keep in his mind that the use of supplements does not compensate for poor food choices and an inadequate diet. Athletes contemplating the use of supplements and sports foods should consider their efficacy, their cost, the risk to health and performance, and the potential for a positive doping test. It is also wise to consult an expert to advise him regarding the need and use of sports supplements.

Dr Sudeep Satpathy

Sports Science Advisor - Fast&Up.

Dr. Sudeep Satpathy
Dr. Sudeep Satpathy
Fast&Up Sports Science Advisor

Dr. Satpathy is an experienced international sports physician and associate professor. He has a large experience of working in the education and sports industries and is skilled in clinical researc... Read More

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