Olympic Weightlifting’s requirement for anti-doping education pays dividends
A competitor at the 2019 Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand (OWNZ) National Championships recently demonstrated the value
of anti-doping education by using Drug Free Sport NZ’s (DFSNZ) online tools, which revealed that a sponsor’s product
listed an ingredient which is banned in competition. Having received DFSNZ education, one of the athletes knew to check
the listed ingredients of a sports drink, which included citrus aurantium. Citrus aurantium contains the active ingredient octopamine, which is banned in-competition. OWNZ staff notified DFSNZ
as soon as they became aware of the issue.
Chief Executive Nick Paterson says “The use of supplements continues to present a very real risk to New Zealand
athletes. Over the past few years a number of athletes have tested positive for prohibited substances, believed to have
been ingested through supplements.
“DFSNZ does not provide any quality assurance on any supplement, nor will it ever approve or endorse any supplement.
However, we will soon be launching a new package of online tools and information to help athletes better understand the
risks inherent in supplements.
“DFSNZ recognises OWNZ’s good track record, their firm stance in relation to Whereabouts compliance, and their
requirement for all OWNZ members to have completed DFSNZ Level 1 e-Learning as part of their annual membership. The
alertness of the athlete in this case helped to reduce the risk to other athletes of taking a supplement that contained
a substance that is banned in competition.
“We recommend a food first approach to athlete nutrition, but recognise that supplement use is common among athletes,
despite the risks. Athletes should make use of the online tools and resources available on our website to check the
ingredients and inform themselves of the risks inherent in the use of supplements. We suggest that before any athlete
takes a supplement, they should seek the advice of a doctor or sports dietician about whether they really need it, or
whether changes to their diet or training programme could achieve the same result.”
Supplements can include protein shakes, pre workout drinks, energy drinks, herbal remedies and vitamins. Supplements can
be accidentally cross contaminated by other substances made in the same factory. Many supplements may also have
inaccurate labelling. Ingredients can have more than 20 different names and not every version is listed on the label.
Labels may also fail to list every ingredient or refer to “proprietary blends” where ingredients are not specified.
DFSNZ advises athletes that no supplement is 100% safe, however using batch tested products is the best way to reduce
DFSNZ’s goal is to support clean Kiwi athletes and clean sport , and has a range of education programs available
, andeducation resources
, all of which cover the risks of supplements.