Fighters who get flagged for using a banned substance almost never say, “Yep, you got me, I was looking for a short-cut, I don't think the playing field is level if I don't use a chemical hand-up. I admit it, I intended to take this banned substance and I apologize, because that's cheating.”
More often, they blame a lab error, or a tainted supplement. Yes, that supplement world must be wilder and dirtier than I'd have thought—and that's strange, because it feels like some of the exotic chemicals found in peoples' systems would be a pricier addition to a powder offered by a company than much of the basic stuff they put in there.
Anyway, in case there are more athletes out there that truly do care about doing the right thing than many people think, this is for them. VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) has linked up with an outfit called the Banned Substances Control Group, and as a result, fighters can get their supplement tested for red-flag substances. For free–if you are enrolled in VADA testing, it doesn't cost extra.
Check out the release:
VADA PARTNERS WITH BSCG TO ENHANCE FIGHTER SAFETY WITH SUPPLEMENT SAFETY INITIATIVE
The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) recognizes this is a difficult time for us all given the worldwide uncertainty surrounding Covid-19. However, we believe in supporting clean sport to the best of our ability and in keeping boxing and MMA free of performance enhancing drugs. During this time of bout postponement and cancellations we need to do as much as we can to protect fighter safety and enhance education.
In that aim, VADA is joining forces with BSCG (Banned Substances Control Group), an international leader in supplement certification and testing, to offer nutritional supplement analysis for performance enhancing substances directly to VADA- enrolled fighters. Third-party supplement certification and testing is essential for athletes who want to ensure products are not tainted with drugs banned in sport. This service is usually available only to nutrition companies and brands. The BSCG Athlete Assurance Program offers the same protection directly to athletes.
“BSCG welcomes the chance to help VADA fighters protect themselves against the possibility that performance enhancing drugs could be hiding in their supplements,” says BSCG President Oliver Catlin. “BSCG will conduct customized testing of nutritional supplements through our Athlete Assurance Program, which provides the same world-class protection that our Certified Drug Free program offers to the nutrition industry.”
BSCG Certified Drug Free is the gold standard when it comes third-party certification and testing for banned substances. The testing menu covers more than 497 drugs including drugs on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List as well as illicit, prescription and over-the-counter drugs not banned in sport that no other program covers. BSCG’s Athlete Assurance Program applies this same industry-leading protection on an individual level.
VADA is a 501c3 non-profit offering drug testing services to the fight sport community. Supplement testing will be paid for by VADA and will be available to VADA-enrolled fighters on a limited basis. Athletes need to apply directly by e-mail to info@VADA-testing.org and we will respond with administrative paperwork and instructions on how to ship samples to BSCG for testing.
BSCG was established in 2004 by renowned sports anti-doping pioneer Dr. Don Catlin and his son Oliver Catlin. Among other acknowledgements, BSCG is listed as an official certification provider by Sports Nutrition and Dietitians Japan (SNDJ), a primary resource for Japanese athletes in the run-up to Tokyo 2020.
While VADA-enrolled athletes continue to be eligible for testing we are following the advice of local and international healthcare professionals in all of our considerations. We will take every precaution possible to ensure VADA testing will focus first on protecting our athletes and doping control officers from Covid-19. Please stay safe and well and remember to be smart with the supplements you elect to use.