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Supplement Use

Nutritional and Dietary Supplement Use

Because the nutritional and dietary supplement industry is not subject to strict government regulations, over-the-counter nutritional and dietary supplements may be mislabeled, or may contain or be contaminated with prohibited substances, even if these substances are not listed as an ingredient on the label. Therefore, a player could inadvertently use a prohibited substance by taking one of these contaminated supplements.

The only supplements that players can use without risk of having a positive test result are supplements that have been certified under the NSF Certified for Sport Program. This certification provides a guarantee that the product does not contain any prohibited substances. A current list of NSF Certified for Sport products is available at:

What Can a Coach Do to Keep Kids Away from the Temptation to Use Prohibited Substances?

  • Talk about it. Many young athletes are unaware of the harmful effects associated with the use of prohibited substances. It is important for coaches to let them know of the potential negative effects to their health and their career, and that the use of prohibited substances is cheating.

  • Get advice on safe and healthy sports nutrition and training. Many young athletes resort to the use of prohibited substances as a result of a lack of knowledge of safe and healthy means of physical and athletic development. By instructing athletes how they should eat and train to achieve physical goals, coaches can influence their decision to stay away from the use of prohibited substances.

  • Be aware of the signs and signals. One way to detect prohibited substance use among young athletes is by observing some visible signs of their use, including: severe acne (especially on the shoulders and back), sudden personality and mood changes, and rapid weight gain. Coaches can offer to help in cases where prohibited substance use is confirmed by talking to an athlete's parents or guardians. Coaches and parents should always consult with a medical professional for instructions on discontinuing the use of these substances.

  • Stay informed. Coaches should be aware of what substances are prohibited in sports, the negative effects of their use and the potential signs and signals of their use.

For more information and resources please visit The Taylor Hooton Foundation.