In 2013, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) released its Sports Science/Sports Medicine (SSSM) Best Practice Principles to support its High Performance Investment Principles, including investment being dependent upon sports, athletes, coaches and support personnel demonstrating the highest possible standards of integrity in sport, including anti-doping, that will enhance the reputation of Australia internationally and provide a positive example to all Australians.
Rowing Australia endorses this approach, and has developed this ‘Sports foods, Medical and Performance Supplement Policy’ to ensure that RA complies with the AIS SSSM Best Practice Principles and continues to provide an environment that maintains the highest standards of integrity within the sport whilst delivering world class performances through the appropriate use of supplements and sports foods.
In addition to providing a framework for the use of sports foods, medical and performance supplements this policy provides guidance to school aged and developing athletes regarding sports foods. It should be noted that RA strongly recommends that sports supplements not be administered until an athlete has competed in at least 5 international regattas.
In this respect, RA fully endorses the Australian College of Sports Physician’s (ACSP) position on the use of sport supplements, including that all sports supplementation programs should be based on the three principles of athlete safety, evidence-based science and compliance with the WADA Code. Furthermore, the AIS, ACSP and RA all believe that sports supplementation is not required by all high performance athletes and is not required by the vast majority of recreational athletes in the general community. Indeed, situations where individuals under the age of 18 would be required to use dietary nutritional supplements for sporting purposes are rare. Parents and responsible adults, including coaches, should seek guidance from appropriately qualified professionals before allowing children to take any supplement.
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance on the appropriate use of sports foods, medical and performance supplements within rowing, and to provide a framework for the provision and administration of sports supplements, limited to those Senior high performance athletes for whom sports supplements may be appropriate.