• Neil

    Interesting. I did my cycling juniors coaching cert earlier on in the year. One of the requirements was that you completed the ASADA Level 1 course. I have to say I found it really, really informative. IMHO, it should be compulsory for any athletes, especially juniors that are selected for any representative teams in any sport.

  • Arfy

    Very interesting article, if nothing else it shows the complete hash-job the government agencies, sports administrators, and ASADA have done by making it such an ordeal for athletes to comply. Surely they all need to come to their senses and put in place a regime that makes it easy, much like the gluten-free “health” section in supermarkets these days? I’d like to see CA, Athletics Australia, AFL, NRL etc stand up for their athletes, come together, and create their own ASADA-compliant system of approvals. This micro-management of each individual athlete has to be a colossal waste of time and money.

    Regarding Informed-Sport and Informed-Choice, their websites look similar – they even have the same Test Specification and use the same Lab – but their approved product lists are different, do you know the reason for that?

    • Hi Arfy, Informed-Sport and Informed-Choice are both run by the same company (LGC). My understanding is that Informed-Choice is how it’s branded in the US, and Informed-Choice is the name used elsewhere. Not sure why they chose to differ on this.

      • Arfy

        Thanks Alan, that makes sense. I’d guess it could be to do with US FDA requirements or similar.

    • Alan Doughty

      Control of residues in products cannot be done by testing the products to show they are free of residues. Products can only be guaranteed to be free of contaminants through control of the manufacturing process. This is why ASADA does not list any supplements as approved since generally they are not manufactured under controlled conditions – ie they are not GMP manufactured.

  • ed

    the Impey story is complete BS – if by the very rare chance the pharmacist was making up products (instead of just reaching for the shelf and getting an existing product) how much of the probenecid must he have had on his fingers for him not to realise, transfer it to the new capsule and then be enough for it to be detected in Impey’s sample?
    im an sure you could determine who much needed to be transferred for it to produce a positve test – more than a few specks and if it was more than a few specks then the pharamacist would have seen it.
    anyone can backdate records – just ask lance about what he did at the 99 tour.

    • Robert Merkel

      Don’t know about this specific case but chemical analysis can detect extraordinarily small concentrations of banned substances.

      Contador copped his ban for a concentration of 50 picograms per milliiter of clenbuterol (or 0.000 000 000 05 grams per ml).

      • ed

        clenbuterol is a positive or negtative test isnt it? no matter how small the positive you’re busted?
        seems silly if there is no limit set – surely there are traces of these things in everyday food & products consumed by all?
        impey’s story doesnt pass a BS test – its just so unlikely. it would be like saying you rode passed some guy in his VW who was bonging on and thats why you provided a positive result for smoking dope
        whereas when rogers got done for clenbuterol he had been racing in china where it is highly likely there will be traces of the stuff in agriculture products – so reasonable doubt.

        • Coogs

          If you passed the VW, you might also have an inhalation issue with the diesel emissions.

          • ed

            not likely – they are calibrated to safe levels according to VW

    • Dave

      I agree.

      Either way, Impey definitely got six sixes in a row there.

      Was it that he rolled six sixes with dice, as in the outstanding odds that the one case of cross-contamination at the pharmacy just happened to be when a European-based pro cyclist was in town, and the contaminant just happened to be a drug on the prohibited list?

      Or was it more like the cricket equivalent of six sixes, which mainly indicates the batsman was up against a crap bowler? In this case there were actually two crap bowlers – the RSA cycling federation’s anti-doping tribunal (South Africa is a country notorious for corruption problems) in accepting the BS story and the UCI for not appealing it.

    • Alan Doughty

      Imprey’s excuse is so good that it is suspicious in itself. GMP manufacturers need to have documented cleaning procedures which are verified by measurements of chemical residues on equipment. Compounding pharmacists are not required to do this, and add to that multitasking and the variety of compounds they can handle then the excuse is feasible.

  • Robert Merkel

    I hate to be a stick in the mud, but I find the idea of parents buying kids supplements to improve their sporting performance a tad bothersome.

    Surely it’s not unrealistic to suggest that juniors shouldn’t be taking supplements at all except when medically indicated?

    • Arfy

      Parents get sucked in when kids are young, starting with things like “Children’s Pentavite” and the like. It’s unfortunate that not enough people know about good nutrition to realise that they could be doing more harm than good if they’re not doing it based on doctor’s advice. It’s not that big a step to go to other supermarket-shelf items, especially when you have sports celebrities endorsing a supplement brand everytime you watch sports on the TV (now there’s an ethical question ASADA should address!!). The power of advertising socially normalising the abnormal!

    • Totally agree Robert, Sports Dietitians Australia published a position statement on Nutrition for Adolescent Athletes in 2014, and this was one of the key themes – “…it is the position of SDA that nutrient needs should be met by core foods rather than supplements, as the recommendation of dietary supplements to developing athletes over-emphasizes their ability to manipulate performance in comparison with other training and dietary strategies”.


  • inopinatus

    Remember what the coach said. If you take supplements, you *will* get chlamydia, and die!

  • Tom Moloney

    US manufactured USANA nutritional supplements state “Laborarory tested, quality guaranteed. Meets British Pharmacopoeia specifications for potency, uniformity , and disintegration , where applicable.” This means they gaurantee that there’s no cross contamination & what’s on the label is what is in the product. In USA they have a million dollar surety against any athelete being caught out against this. USANA Essentials, a Multimineral / Antioxidant preparation boosts the immune system of endurance athletes.

    • gmop

      Thanks for the advertisement – take it elsewhere. USANA supplements (and their ilk like Herbalife) are highly suspect. More designed to lighten the wallet…

    • geoff.tewierik

      What’s wrong with using the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) for testing your products? Why use the BP?

  • Alan Doughty

    The FDA recall list can be a good read and gives an idea of the type of products which are often adulterated:


    You can see that exercise supplements come third behind weight loss and erectile disfunction for the number of tainted products being recalled. It is important to note that in the US nutritional supplements are considered as food and are not manufactured under GMP conditions, hence the prevalence of adulteration. Noteable also that for the South African case the product tainting occurred for a product prepared by a compounding pharmacist. GMP manufacturers are required to have cleaning procedures which are documented and verified as being effective, but the requirements for compounding pharmacists come no where near this meaning the risk of contamination is so much higher.


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