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New supplement guidance stops athletes falling foul of doping rules

Supplement guidance

The Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) is delighted to launch a vital Supplement in sport position statement which has been developed with support from UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). The statement is additionally endorsed by the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and Informed Sport.

SENr is hosted and managed by the British Dietetic Association. It is a voluntary register designed to accredit highly qualified sport and exercise nutritionists who have the competency to work autonomously with athletes, from the elite to the exercising public.

The aim of this position statement is to provide Athlete Support Personnel (ASP) with a robust framework to enable evidence-based decision making with regard to supplementation in sport. The guidance directs the ASP to enable them to:

  • appropriately assess the need for supplementation
  • assess the risk of supplementation
  • understand the consequences of taking supplements from an anti-doping perspective
  • and provide practical guidelines and tools for safe usage in order to support athletes.

UKAD’s Head of Education and Athlete Support, Amanda Batt, said:

“We are extremely pleased that the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) continues to show its support for clean sport by providing its members with clear guidance through the publication of their Supplement in Sport Position Statement.

“UKAD supports and welcomes any initiative that aims to increase the awareness of risks associated with the use of supplements and how these can be minimised. SENr has an important role to play in protecting clean sport, supporting us in ensuring that athletes and their support personnel are provided with essential advice about sports nutrition, the principle of ‘food first’ and supplementation. With the 2015 Code, and the prospect of a four-year ban, it is vital that athletes seek current and competent advice before they decide to use supplements. 

“Together, the SENr and UKAD can help both current and future practitioners to effectively support athletes in their decision making and in managing the risks related to supplement use. Our combined efforts, and those of registered practitioners, will provide athletes with the best possible chance to compete, and win, clean.”

Kevin Currell, Deputy Chair of SENr, said:

“Sports Nutrition is playing an increasingly key role for athletes of all levels. While food is always a nutritionist first port of call when looking to improve an athletes diet, there are times when using supplementation is needed, whether that be to correct a nutrient deficiency, for practical reasons, or because it would be difficult to get that nutrient in sufficient quantities in food. For SENr to take the lead on ensuring best practice in supplement use in sport is welcome. It will enable us to exercise our duty of care to protect athletes, coaches and practitioners as well as promote clean sport.”

Terence O’Rorke, Director of Informed Sport said:

“Sports nutritionists work closely with athletes and help guide them on the responsible use of supplements. The more support the nutritionists have, the better guidance and advice they can give to athletes. This position statement enhances the support available to them and Informed Sport is proud to be an important part of this in terms of minimising the risk of inadvertent doping.” 

To read the full SENr Supplement in sport position statement, please visit the SENr website.

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