The USADA has taken the fight against doping to a whole new level. With most positive tests explained away these days by “supplements,” the governing body for drugs in the United States has put together a website that lays out the risks and warnings of certain supplements; as well as a guide for athletes to test supplements in independent 3rd-party labs.
The site is useful for all, but is aimed at elite athletes. Still it is a great site for parents to look at with their kids in the event that their highschool-aged athletes are looking to begin a supplement routine.
Check out Supplement411.org here.
This is something that the swimming community has needed for a long time. They steered clear of saying any supplement was a “good choice” or of certifying anything as steroid-free, but they did give big red flags about which ones athletes should saty away from.
This certainly won’t help catch those who do cheat, and it probably won’t prevent the legal challenges for accidental ingestions. What it will do, however, is help honest athletes ensure that they don’t have years of reputation ruined by a lack of information. The other side of the coin is that it chips away at the veil of true cheaters, and makes it harder for them to hide behind an explanantion of “I didn’t know that supplement had a banned substance in it – it’s legal afterall.”