Sport Integrity Australia says zero athletes have tested positive for banned supplements in more than a decade Down Under.
According to a Sport Integrity Australia review for 2021-2022, not a single athlete tested positive for taking a banned supplement for the first time in more than a decade.
The achievement is said to be the result of more than five years of combined work between the organisation and others including the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and National Measurement Institute.
Over the five-year period, Sport Integrity Australia included athlete-informed changes to supplement messaging, the creation of an app which provided a list of low-risk supplements, and educational courses for coaches, parents and medical support staff.
The combined education, communication and regulatory response resulted in the number of positive tests attributed to supplements dropping, with only three in 2019-2020, one in 2020-2021, and none in 2021-2022.
“The app was a game-changer for athletes,” said David Sharpe, Sport Integrity Australia chief executive.
“For the first time they had a list of low-risk supplements to choose from and a survey to assess the risk of other products.
“Since it was created it has been downloaded 65,094 times, with almost 23,000 supplement checks a year.
“We were also privileged to have athletes like Cassie Fien and Thomas Carr work with Sport Integrity Australia to share their stories in the hope that it would prevent other athletes being caught out like they were.”
Despite the positive figures, Sharpe has urged athletes not to be complacent.
“Just because it’s on the shelf does not mean it’s safe,” he added.
“Sport Integrity Australia has not and will not approve or endorse supplements because they pose too much of a risk to an athlete’s health, career and reputation. If you must take a supplement, please check it.”
The result comes on the eve of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Global Education Conference, being hosted in Sydney this week, bringing together 300 international anti-doping education experts to learn how they can continue to help athletes through education.