Dirty Supplements

After a number of drug findings of nandralone among track athletes who claimed they’d only taken supplements, the IOC actually did some research (instead of the morally superior chest-beating that’s more typical). In a report released April this year, IOC-funded researchers summarized chemical analysis of 634 different supplements commonly used by athletes, bought in 13 countries. They found an incredible 14.3% were “dirty” – had substances not listed on the labels that would cause a failed drug test.(Results reported in the LA Times, 27 August.)
This means that athletes’ reputations have been smeared and careers ended by some manufacturers’ shoddy, unprofessional work. It also means SBAA members who take supplements should be careful in selection. (A second reason for care is that supplements vary widely in potency – independent tests have found that the bottle promising 500 mg of such-and-such can mean anything between 50 and 500.) Unfortunately, pretty much the only thing you can do is look for a “GMP” (good manufacturing processes) label on the bottle, or a note that the supplement is pharmaceutical-grade. Since supplements aren’t regulated, neither of these is a gaurantee, but either or both are currently the best options available. (8/30)

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