The development of a supplement policy guided by inadvertent doping risk minimization principles is important because of the real risk of a positive drugs test resulting from use of a contaminated or adulterated supplement. Further, any athlete taking part in competitive sport at any level within the UK, is eligible for testing as part of UK Anti-Doping’s national anti-doping programme.
In the Carnegie School of Sport, we educate and support student-athletes taking part in local, regional, national and international competition. Therefore, we have a duty to protect them. Under the current World-Anti Doping Code – which is underpinned by the concept of ‘strict liability’ – an athlete who unintentionally and unknowingly tests positive due to the ingestion of a contaminated supplement can still face a significant ban from sport (i.e. 2 years).Many of our final year students undertake supplement-based experiments to investigate their effect on performance within the teaching labs or as part of their dissertation. Our student-athletes show great support and willingly act as study participants. Using batch tested products substantially minimises the risk of unwittingly providing students with contaminated products; risk reduces to 0.02% from 20% risk with non-batch tested products. Our supplement policy is, therefore, an essential and important step forward. Just as importantly, it is our policy that if we are unable to purchase batch tested products, we will clearly state this in study information letters to increase participants’ awareness of any potential risk before they decide about taking part in a study
As part of our strong commitment to clean sport, we look forward to educating our student-athletes around prudent supplement use during their induction week next academic year.