July 12, 2006 – A new drug screening process is a breath of fresh air for Canadian athletes. AthletesCAN, the association of Canada’s national team athletes, applauds the partnership of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and NSF International as they work to help Canadian athletes make informed decisions about the nutritional supplements they choose to consume.
Many athletes stopped using legal supplements for fear of accidentally testing positive, like triathlete Kelly Guest, who was sent home from the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 because of a positive test for the steroid nandrolone at a World Cup event. Guest claimed it was the result of supplements that were supposedly legal.
Hamilton cyclist Sue Palmer-Komar told the Hamilton Spectator that, “It’s a great step. There were years when I competed without taking any supplements because I was so afraid.”
Palmer-Komar continued that it may have hurt her competitively and stressed it is very difficult for endurance athletes in her sport and the triathlon to compete without supplements.
The Spectator reported that several Canadian athletes have tested positive to drugs they said they took unwittingly, one of the reasons the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) has teamed up with NSF International, a not-for-profit American organization which screens food and dietary supplements.
With this new system in place, athletes will be able to check a list of products certified by NSF, which has blessed 200,000 products in its history.
The certification program will focus on protecting products against adulteration, verifying label claims and identifying the presence of prohibited substances. Therefore, all approved products will bear a NSK Certified for Sport trademark and already Canadian manufacturers are lined up for the auditing and certification process.