Athletes competing at the highest level are bound by strict anti-doping rules that prevent the use of a range of substances either for health, safety or performance reasons.

An unintentional breach can mean the end of sporting careers, but also have a devastating impact on other aspects of their lives and wellbeing.

In other words, the stakes are high for athletes when it comes to supplementation.

If they are to use supplements; which we know can aid recovery, performance and well-being of high-performing individuals, athletes need to take every precaution possible to ensure they’re free of any prohibited substances.

Testing of supplements across the world has shown a high degree – up to 20% – with one or more banned substances, none of which were labelled as such. While many others had ingredients listed in incorrect quantities.

Most contamination occurs inadvertently during processing, either as a result of cross contamination in factories that manufacture other supplements or through the acquisition of poorly controlled ingredients.

Other companies may intentionally add substances like steroids or prohormones without informing consumers, as they know will elicit results and encourage repeat sales.

Either way – at the end of the day – if an athlete tests positive for a banned substance whether intentional or not, they bear the ramifications.

While amateur athletes may not be hit with career-ending or damaging sanctions, they still need to be aware of the very real health risks of banned substances. This is why any supplements used should be treated with a great deal of caution, and benefits must greatly outweigh any associated risks – regardless of your level of athletic endeavour.

But, there’s no need to miss out on the health and performance benefits of good quality supplements.

This is why many brands now turn to HASTA to ensure their supplements are third-party tested for prohibited substances.

HASTA (Human and Supplement Testing Australia) is Australia’s most globally recognised drug-testing laboratory. They’re the first in Australia to provide testing and certification of sports supplements for elite athletes by an experienced, independent testing team.

HASTA’s role as an independent testing facility is about protecting both athletes and manufacturers. They test supplements against more than 200 WADA (World Anti-Doping Authority) prohibited substances to give athletes peace of mind in what they’re taking.

So, what can you do to reduce any risk when choosing supplements?

  • Look for a reputable brand – Aussie made is a good start.
  • Check the product line – companies that also produce products with steroids, prohormones or other banned substances may be at greater risk of cross contamination in product manufacturing.
  • Choose products that have been independently tested – HASTA provide an added layer of confidence in supplement safety. If you are purchasing supplements you can look for their certification logo and check batch numbers.

To learn more about HASTA head to their website.

-Pip Taylor