"Three athletes - Rebekah Keat from Australia, Amber Neben from the United States, and Mike Vine from Canada - have filed suit against Hammer Nutrition, Ltd. in the Orange County Superior Court, California, alleging that their positive drug tests were caused by the use of Hammer Nutrition Endurolyte supplements that were contaminated with the steroid precursor norandrostenedione."
This comes as a shock to the industry because Hammer sponsors age-groupers and elite athletes and to have just these elite athletes test positive might be a sign that perhaps they're the only ones actually getting tested and that there very well may be age-groupers with these illegal substances in their blood that they don't know about. What do you think about this?
This is really unfortunate as it gives the nutrition industry a black eye. Let's just wait and see what happens. Maybe it is true and maybe it is false. The facts are that many nutritional companies do not make their products "in-house." They contract out their product to be made in a larger facility by another company. Since pharmaceutical companies are best equipped to produce and package supplements, they often get the contract. It saves money but it involves much more risk. You relinquish control of the purity and potency of your product that way. They may have just finished doing a run or product for a pharmaceutical company and did not clean their equipment thoroughly. That is why you should look for a nutritional company that makes their products at their own facility with equipment that is dedicated to nutritional products alone (no pharmaceutical drugs). Because of the Dietary Supplement health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), supplements are not regulated by the FDA so the industry has been left to pretty much regulate itself. Supplements are treated as "food" in our country. In other countries like Canada and Australia, supplements are treated like drugs and have much higher standards to reach. When looking for a safe supplement that will not have banned substances in them, I suggest three things:
Make sure it has the letters "USP" (United States Pharmacoeia) on the label. This would indicate that it has been produced to the same exacting standards as a drug would be produced. Thus, you could be more confident that what is on the label is really in the bottle. It is a higher level of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) that can inspire more confidence as to the purity and potency of the product. Sadly, that is not enough as some of these very companies have been independently tested and found wanting. The FDA does not investigate these companies unless there is an "adverse" episode where someone dies or gets sick.
Make sure that their product has been tested and certified by the NSF. To meet the growing demands of athletes, coaches and all those concerned about banned substances in sports supplements, NSF International developed an athletic banned substances certification program. The new NSF Certified for Sport^TM^ program minimizes the risk that a dietary supplement or sports nutrition product contains a substance banned by one of the major sports organizations. Look for the letters "NSF" on the label. Look for other certifications from outside third-party laboratories like Consumer Lab, Natural Products Association (NPA), True-Label Program and the USP Dietary Supplements Verification Program. If a company does business in Canada or Australia, this is a plus to look for also. The NHPD (Canada's version of FDA) and the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA - Australia's version of the FDA) treat supplements as if they were drugs. This means they are regulated and tested to a higher standard and this is good for all athletes.
Get a copy of the Comparative Guide To Nutritional Supplements. This is an authoritative guide to help consumers navigate the maze of nutritional products on the market today. It is the result of several years of effort by Biochemist Lyle MacWilliam. Mr. MacWilliam is a trained biochemist and kinesiologist and a contributing author to leading health publications. He has served, at the behest of Canada's Minister of Health, on an expert advisory team for natural health products, which developed a new regulatory framework to ensure Canadians have access to safe, effective and high quality nutritional products. Many products that are aimed towards athletes are mostly hype with little substance. This guide will help you to objectively seperate the wheat from the chaff.
During the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Olympic commitee made a startling announcement to all of the participants. They had several athletes test positive for banned substances that were linked to their nutritional supplements. In an effort to stem the tide of disqualifications, they encouraged all athletes to stop taking nutritional supplements immediately. Usana Health Sciences sponsors the U.S. and Canadian Speed Skating teams. They stepped in and offered their athletes a guarantee of up to one million dollarsif any banned substances were linked to their products. This is called, putting your money where your mouth is. This is the type of action we need from our nutritional companies to encourage confidence in an industry that so often has let us down. Who can you trust? Let's stop listening to the advertisements and start using our minds. Let's start voting by choosing companies that will stand up to some scrutiny.
Message was edited by: livefree
Message was edited by: livefree
I really appreciate you taking the time to post this response. These are great suggestions that I'm sure others will benefit from here in the community. We should wait and see what happens. Here is a response found on Hammer's website regarding the allegations:
Response to Athlete Lawsuit
(WHITEFISH, MT) On January 23, 2008, Hammer Nutrition LTD. was served with a lawsuit filed by three athletes. The complaint alleged that a Hammer Nutrition product used by the athletes, specifically Endurolytes, was contaminated with banned substances which led to the athletes positive drug tests in 2002-2004.
On February 11, 2008, the plaintiffs issued a press release. It is unfortunate that the plaintiffs have decided to take their case to the court of public opinion. We trust that the media and the public will allow due process and the courts to deal with this matter before rushing to judgment. While we empathize with the challenges that these three athletes face by virtue of their positive drug tests, they are directing the blame for their situation in the wrong direction. We are certain that when all of the facts are presented in a court of law, Hammer Nutrition LTD. will be vindicated of any wrong doing.