UK Anti-Doping has today issued a warning to athletes and players to be extra vigilant when using supplements as the first UK athlete receives a ban for testing positive for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine. The warning follows a number of recent international doping cases, notably in India and Australia.
British shotputter, Rachel Wallader, received a reduced ban of four months following appeal after methylhexaneamine was found to be present in a urine sample provided on 1 May 2010. The period of ineligibility ran from 5 June to midnight on 4 October this year.
Two other athletes have tested positive for the substance in recent months; their cases are ongoing.
Methylhexaneamine is increasingly being found in nutritional supplements, typically those that are designed to increase energy or aid weight loss. There is a risk that supplements could contain this or other prohibited substances even if the ingredients listed on the label do not appear on the World Anti-Doping Code’s Prohibited List. This is because some prohibited substances are referred to on supplement labelling by different names. Methylhexaneamine, for instance, is referred to by a number of alternative names including 1,3-dimethylamylamine, dimethylamylamine, dimethylpentylamine, DMAA, forthan, forthane, floradrene, geranamine and geranium oil. In Ms Wallader’s case the supplement provided to her by coach Geoff Capes contained the listed ingredient 1,3-dimethylamylamine.
While counselling against the use of supplements, UK Anti-Doping acknowledges that some athletes may choose to do so. Ms Wallader’s case is timely reminder that athletes must carry out a thorough risk assessment. One tool available to athletes is Informed-Sport. This independent programme evaluates supplement manufacturers for their process integrity and screens supplements and ingredients for the presence of prohibited substances. More information is available at www.informed-sport.com
UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive, Andy Parkinson, said: “The outcome of this case, and others from around the world, demonstrates how vigilant athletes must be when it comes to supplements. There is no guarantee that any supplement is free from a prohibited substance. Athletes are ultimately responsible for anything found in their system, no matter how it gets there.
“There are an increasing number of positive cases for methylhexaneamine for which athletes are facing a ban from sport. Whilst its downgrading in status in the 2011 Prohibited List is a welcome development, methylhexaneamine remains prohibited. Whether intentional or unintentional, its presence in the system can lead to an anti-doping rule violation and a ban from sport.”
The full written decision can be found here.
UK Anti-Doping’s position statement on supplements is available here.