Times are changing for responsibility in age group ranks regarding illegal doping due to the new “pro-amateur” status many athletes are taking on. The level of commitment and competition within amateur ranks has unfortunately led to an increase in the use of banned substances to gain advantage. 2015 was the year that both Triathlon Australia and Ironman Asia Pacific released media statements outlining the testing program that would occur in age group athletes at competitions.
Ironman Asia Pacific added the following to the athlete information guide for the Sunsmart Mandurah 70.3 and pulled the trigger on tests to random and podium finishers at the event afterwards “No athlete can use a Performance Enhancing drug or procedure. Athletes may be requested to undergo drug testing before and after the event. If you are requested to do so, you hereby agree to abide by such testing procedures.”
The bottom line is now all Age Group athletes must take responsibility for themselves in ensuring no banned substance is taken (either on purpose or by mistake) or risk being banned from competition.
With this in mind, YourIronGuide completed the ASADA Level 2 Anti-Doping Course with 2016 upgrade and here are the findings you should be aware of:
A cool new phone App developed by WADA is available to search for all banned substances (2 new added for 2016) as a quick reference if you are unsure about any chemical listed on a supplement or medication. We highly recommend you grab it and it can be found here
Any athlete associated with support personnel who themselves have been previously suspended can also now incur a rule violation through association. The prohibited association list is interesting and contains names such as Michele Ferrari (know better as Lance Armstrong’s best friend during his winning years). This is worth a view to see if anyone locally should not be associated with and can be found on the WADA website here
A common myth amongst Triathletes is that supplement intake is a safe “clean” method of increasing nutrients. Human and Supplement Testing Australia (HASTA) recently released findings of 63 common supplements purchased both online and at physical sites around Australia. Of these, 10 were found to contain WADA banned substances and 6 were found to contain 2 or more banned substances. The products tested included powders, capsules, tablets, gels and bars. This opens up a real threat to all athletes that they could be ingesting a banned substance without even knowing it!
The good news is that many suppliers have asked for independent testing of their products by a company called Informed-sport.com. Their website shows a list of companies and products that have been tested to confirm they do NOT contain any banned substances and are recommended for safe use (or at least a much better alternative to an independently untested product). Their website and list of registered products can be found here
YourIronGuide applauds the steps being taken to ensure a level playing field for all athletes, amateur or professional.