Athletes should assess the following aspects when considering on the use of supplements:
1. Health risks
There are always possible side effects when using supplements. Prolonged use may lead to adverse health effects or even addiction. Supplements that claimed to be “all natural” may contain active ingredients that interact with each other or with medications.
2. Effectiveness of a supplement
Supplements advertisements tend to rely on unproven research results and celebrities endorsement, instead of valid scientific evidence to promote their products. Benefits of a supplement maybe very specific to certain situations and to certain individuals only. Therefore, claims made by supplements may not be true or reliable.
3. Inadvertent doping
Under the Strict Liability Principle, an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) is committed if a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in an athlete’s sample. Inadvertent doping due the use of a poorly labelled supplement is not an adequate defense in a doping case. Sanctions for an ADRV may include ineligible to participate in sport-related activities and disqualification of competition results.