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Athlete advisory – supplements and prohibited stimulants

More than half of the Australian athletes banned from sport in 2013 tested positive to a prohibited stimulant found within a supplement product.

Such is the concern of this trend, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has asked all sports to pass on an advisory to athletes and support personnel. We strongly urge you to take a moment to read this notice.

The prohibited stimulant methylhexaneamine continues to be an issue in Australia and overseas, however ASADA is seeing the emergence of other prohibited stimulants found in supplements.

Laboratory analysis identified a batch of:

  • DS Craze contained a prohibited stimulant N, alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine (analysed late 2012)
  • Mesomorph 2.0 contained the prohibited stimulants Oxilofrine (also known as Methylsynephrine, Hydroxyephrine, and Oxyephrine), Phenpromethamine, and Beta-methylphenethylamine (chemical structure similar to amphetamine) (analysis results received in April 2014).

The supplement Viking Before Battle, which is available in Australia, lists the substance Methyl Synepherine on the ingredients label. Despite the difference in spelling this substance is the same as the prohibited stimulant Methylsynephrine.

While not all the stimulants referred to are specifically named on WADA’s Prohibited List, they are all classed as Category 6b stimulants on the List and are prohibited in-competition. There are athletes currently serving, or possibly facing, two-year bans from sport following positive tests for these stimulants.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) considers N,alpha-diethyl-benzeneethanamine to be an analogue of the border controlled substance methamphetamine under the Criminal Code (C’wth). The product DS Craze is subject to seizure by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and, under existing arrangements between the agencies, will be referred to the AFP for investigation and prosecution action.

ASADA cautions athletes to take extreme care when it comes to supplements—if you use supplements containing prohibited substances you are risking your health, career and reputation.

As you compete under an anti-doping policy you need to think carefully about the use of supplements, especially those that make performance and endurance promises in their marketing. Read the ingredients label, does it say ‘proprietary blend’? If it does, there is no telling what has been added in the manufacturing process and this is the risk you take.

ASADA does not give approval to any supplement product. They know athletes use supplements, but while the supplement manufacturing process is unregulated and can lead to the contents varying from batch to batch, ASADA will never be able to give a specific supplement the all clear

Under the World Anti-Doping Code athletes are responsible for any substance found in their body. There are numerous instances around the world where athletes have been sanctioned after using supplements that they thought were safe, but were actually contaminated with prohibited substances.

Further information about supplements and the steps you can take to help minimise your risk is available online at www.asada.gov.au just search for ‘supplements’.