It’s a regular occurrence in the media of an athlete testing positive for a banned substance as a result of taking an inadvertently contaminated supplement. Many times, a doping violation is caused by ingesting an unknown substance by way of an untested sports supplement. For the athlete, this results in loss of playing time, losing brands deal, and ultimately affecting their income. For supplement brands, this could pose legal consequences and a loss of reputation.
CJ Ujah was recently banned for 22 months for testing found to have tested positive for two banned substances. The investigation found he did not intentionally cheat. After randomly purchasing an amino acid supplement, it was found it contained trace amounts of two selective androgen receptor modulators on WADA’s prohibited list: ostarine, used to treat muscle wasting, and S-23, which promotes muscle growth. This mishap not only affected Ujah but Team Britain was also stripped of their silver medals.
Ujah understands that third-party tested supplements are the only way to go to alleviate the risk. “A lot of athletes use supplements that are not Informed Sport because they don’t think anything bad could happen to them – until it does.”
Customers rely heavily on quality assurance when selecting a product. 71% of supplement users look for a quality assurance seal on a product label. Reputable supplement brands use third-party certification to provide transparency and peace of mind to athletes.
Even the most reputable supplement brands are at risk for inadvertent contamination. Informed Sport has found the majority of cross-contamination occurs: during the manufacturing process, from plant-based ingredients with naturally occurring steroidal compounds, during the manufacturing process, and between raw materials within the supply chain.
As a result of supply chain issues, ingredient shortages, and price increases, numerous brands are using new ingredient suppliers or manufacturers. Supply chain issues potentially open the door for suppliers to sell substandard ingredients to brands and manufacturers – ingredients that hold the potential to be adulterated or contaminated with substances that present a doping or health risk.
Ingredients could be from countries with poor quality control standards. For manufacturing facilities, not all may have adequate quality procedures in place to minimize cross-contamination risk. Good cleaning procedures, ingredient handling, and proper storage need to be followed. Furthermore, plant materials can include naturally occurring steroidal or stimulant compounds. Oftentimes, these ingredients can be overlooked in regard to testing for banned substances or are not known to contain a banned compound.
Informed Sport combats these risks. Prior to certification, Informed Sport performs a thorough manufacturing audit prior to product certification. The audit includes reviewing Standard Operating Procedures for all production, packing, and storage areas to make certain cleaning processes are in place to eliminate the possibility of contamination. Along with the manufacturing audit, a team of experienced assessors performs a Raw Material Supplier Assessment to confirm the manufacturer has a vendor qualification program in place. The vendor qualification program must include a process to identify whether the supplier produces or handles banned substances.
All Informed Sport banned substance testing is performed in our world-class anti-doping labs using ISO/IEC 17025 accredited methods. Every batch of every sports supplement product is analysed for 250+ prohibited substances giving the you and athletes using your product peace of mind. This process has been developed and honed over 55 years.
Find out why over 330 sports supplement brands from around the globe have trusted Informed Sport.