Are there any traces of steroids in the supplements you have given my athlete?
I get asked this question most often by the parents or coaches of young athletes aspiring for international stardom.
One of the high performance athletes we are looking after, who is in line for Olympic qualification, was recently drugs tested and came through completely clear.
There are no steroids, stimulants, or anything else that may be the slightest bit dodgy, in any of the products I have on my shelves. Not even caffeine. When helping athletes with preparing for the next World Champs, Commonwealth Games, or Olympics, we must be very conscious to ensure there is no problem for them by either deliberately or inadvertently prescribing a forbidden substance.
We ensure purity by sourcing products that come from companies with the highest standards of production, quality and purity. Douglas Laboratories of the USA is our main supplier of high quality, potent practitioner grade product. Douglas Laboratories is one of the world leaders for manufacturing quality. Their reputation is unsurpassed.
If you worry about a supplement being "cross-contaminated" during production, such from a tableting machine that has been poorly cleaned, I recommend that you buy product sourced from a company that does not make products that contain steroids, stimulants and other questionable products. Simple solution eh?
Here's a bright thought for the day
If there are no dodgy products being made in the factory,
then cross-contamination has to be impossible.
Douglas Laboratories are a good choice in this regard, as are several others.
What about only taking "Certified Clean" products, Gary?
An athlete can go to certified drugs-free products: but the range is far too limited for improving health and performance. Few of these certified "clean" products are applicable for the specialised purposes I need product for, such as for adrenal fatigue, recovery from glandular fever, or post concussion rehabilitation. Nor are these certified clean products, such as whey protein and creatine, all that good for improving athlete performance.
And you pay a big premium for the certified product. Most athletes, other than a few well-funded ones, have no spare cash and simply cannot afford the premium of certified "Clean" supplements. We have access to these products, but don't see any great need to bring them in.
Its ridiculous how we got into the situation of being forced to have these "clean athlete" products. Let me explain.
Pre-Workout energy boosters
Problems arise with the use of dodgy products such as pre-workout energy boosters that contain various forms of "speed" and other body-building products that contain steroid precursors that are just a carbon or hydrogen atom away from being the real deal. These are often referred to as dietary supplements. They are not - they are drugs.
Pre-workout drugs, including mixing them with energy drinks, are very popular, especially with young males. These drugs come with serious health concerns, including a number of deaths in New Zealand and more fatalities elsewhere.
Don't worry, I don't have them and don't encourage their use. But these dodgy products inadvertently tarnish the reputations of health professionals such as myself, along with the healthy products that I may prescribe. Its called, "guilt by association".
The Contador Defense
Athletes who are masters at doping will always have good lawyers on hand, in addition to a pharmacist, a physiologist and a doctor or two. The lawyers advise their athlete to introduce the element of doubt, should they ever produce a positive drugs test.
The best strategy for introducing the element of doubt is the "Contador Defense" where you argue that you ate hormone contaminated meat, or it was an impurity in your supplements from sloppy manufacturing. This has been the first line of defense employed time and time again by cheats who return a positive drugs test. The anti doping authorities are trying to counter this defense by requiring certified "clean" supplements. This is yet another cost burden for the already financially stretched amateur athlete. It also threatens to restrict the range of nutritional strategies for care of the athlete.
The natural health industry are made guilty, by association, of selling dodgy products. Sure, there may be some dodgy supplements out there, if they are purchased from some obscure, cheap source on the internet; but not ours, such as those products made by Douglas Labs where you get what's on the label and with no added extras.
Clean and innocent we may be; but we end up being tarred by the same brush.
"Somebody nobbled me!"
One defense strategy is to claim that an opponent nobbled you by slipping some drugs into your drink bottle, massage oil or supplements.
A famous example of actual nobbling was that involving the legendary New Zealand born race horse, Phar Lap, which was given a lethal dose of arsenic. The arsenic was presumably mixed with his oats. By the way, I have a copy of the tissue mineral analysis of Phar Lap's hair sitting on my desk. It is convincing evidence that someone was up to no good.
Nobbling goes on in sport all the time and athletes must always be vigilant of the possibility of sabotage, especially at the professional, Olympic or World Championship levels.
While no manufacturer or Practitioner can prevent this, athletes need to be reminded of the importance of being vigilant by keeping their personal belongings within sight and tamper proof at all times of the day and night. This includes equipment such as their sports shoes. One sure way to throw an athlete off their game is nick their shoes, or their lucky jock strap, just before game time. Yes, this has been known to happen.
The Harding Ploy
It's not really relevant but I can't resist mentioning this ploy. This winning form of cheating involves crudely breaking a rival's bones. Let's call it the "Harding Ploy", which famously involved Tonya Harding's Ex brutally knee-capping her main rival, Nancy Kerrigan, who was competing with Tonya for a place on the US Olympic ice skating team.
Functional Nutrition is the key to athletic performance and career longevity
Nutrition is a powerful and essential component of the complex mix of attributes that make a winning and enduring athlete. Without the input of functional nutrition an athlete is guaranteed to under perform, never achieving their true potential.
Performance enhancing drugs may mask nutrient short-comings; but not for long. Nutrition is the key to athletic longevity.
Keep it clean please!
An athlete can ensure their supplements are clean by consuming only certified "clean" products, or they can consult experienced health professionals, such as myself.
An athlete should not be consuming product from obscure sources. Cheap is not the best either, especially if you are an athlete who may be the subject of a doping test any time.