Supplements Scapegoated in Olympic Doping Case
Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Leading up to the Olympic Summer Games in Beijing controversy has erupted involving swimmer Jessica Hardy. Hardy tested positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol at the U.S. Olympic trials. The source of this test result is unclear at present, but Hardy is appealing the result. If the tests are not overturned, she will be banned from participating in the Olympics.

In the meantime, Hardy's coach Dave Salo has placed the blame on "inadvertent consumption of a banned substance," and has suggested that all vitamins and supplements she used be tested for purity. Salo and other supporters of Hardy have gone on to suggest that her failed test results have occurred due to a lack of oversight within the supplement industry. Salo, as quoted by the Orange County Register: "The worse [sic] fears may be realized in this circumstance as it pertains to Jessica – i.e. the supplement industry runs unabated without any controls."

Unfortunately, blaming dietary supplements for an athlete’s failed drug test is not new. But, to contend that the supplement industry is allowed to operate without any oversight or control is simply not true.

Because of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the federal government has considerable regulatory power concerning the safety of supplements and the accuracy of their health claims. Of the many changes DSHEA instituted, the law enacted comprehensive labeling requirements for all supplements and determined that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulate dietary supplements with the same safety requirements that the agency applies to commonly used foods. The FDA has the authority to require that dietary supplements meet strict manufacturing standards concerning their potency, cleanliness and stability, as well as the authority to stop any sales of dietary supplements that are "adulterated.”

It was claimed that Hardy tested positive as a result of taking products by supplement company AdvoCare that contained substances banned by the NCAA.  This information was posted in the original article by The OC Register as fact.  However, within the past day, the article was pulled and a correction was posted, admitting that AdvoCare does not manufacture supplements containing the banned substance clenbuterol.

Read the full story at, and let us know what you think about this controversy by commenting below.

guest on July 31, 2008 at 11:41:30 am

Rumor flies, truth crawls. How long will it take for the myth that supplements are unregulated to be overtaken by the truth?? Incredible!!
guest on July 30, 2008 at 3:44:10 pm

The original article in the OC Register is so poorly written and researched, its amazing. They think they smell blood, so they don't mind just tossing stuff out there, hoping they won't get called on it. Sure, they ran a correction on their article, but the article has circulated all over the web, and none of those places are going to post a correction. Print journalism should be better than that.
guest on July 30, 2008 at 3:35:10 pm

I think this is a disgrace. I'm tired of hearing about these atheletes using banned substances. It seems they will blame anyone but themselves when they are caught.

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