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British Triathlon encourage athletes to optimise diet, lifestyle and training before athletes consider supplements.

However we recognise that some athletes choose to use supplements and therefore want to ensure that all athletes are equipped with an awareness of the associated risks so that they can make well informed decisions.

Due to a lack of regulation of the supplement industry there is no guarantee that any supplement is safe.

The risks

  • Supplements can contain banned substances
  • Contamination can occur during the manufacturing process
  • Ingredients on the label may be listed differently to how they are shown on the Prohibited List
  • Supplements may be sold as counterfeit products.
  • A label saying ‘Safe for Sports People’, or ‘Approved by WADA or UKAD’ is meaningless. WADA and UKAD do not approve any supplement products

The advice

  • Assess the need: seek advice from a medical professional or nutritionist.
  • Assess the risk: ensure you undertake thorough research of any supplement product you are considering.
  • Assess the consequence: You could receive a four year ban.

Strict Liability

Remember an important principle of the Anti-Doping Code is that of strict liability, which states that athletes are solely responsible for any prohibited substances they use, attempt to use or is found in their system regardless of how it got there and if there was an intention to cheat. Before taking supplements, it is therefore vital that athletes assess the need, risk and consequences.

Informed sport

The informed sport programme aims to support athletes in assessing the risk. The programme is designed to evaluate supplement manufacturers for their process integrity and screening of supplements and raw ingredients for the presence of substances that are on the WADA Prohibited List. It certifies that every batch of a supplement product and/or raw material that bears the Informed-Sport logo has been tested for banned substances by LGC's world-class sports anti-doping laboratory.


Whilst informed sport can minimise the risk, we remind athletes that it still does not guarantee a supplement is completely free from prohibited substances.

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