By Nick Harris
4 November 2010
UK Anti-Doping has today issued a warning to British sportsmen and sportswomen to “be extra vigilant” when using dietary supplements in the wake of the first UK athlete receiving a ban for testing positive for the prohibited substance methylhexaneamine.
UKAD says the warning follows a number of recent international doping cases, notably in India (at the Commonwealth Games) and in Australia. There have been no cases in Britain’s No1 sport, football, but then there have been no doping cases at all in English football since January 2010, at least not any yet reported in the anti-doping database.
Methylhexaneamine is a stimulant that has been used as a recreational party drug, especially in New Zealand, and as a stimulant implicated in adverse drug findings in five Jamaican athletes last year. It was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list for 2010.
Rachel Wallader, a 21-year-old shotputter from Windsor, coached by the former Commonwealth shot putt champion and current budgerigar breeder Geoff Capes, was initially banned for a year after testing positive for methylhexaneamine following a urine test on 1 May 2010. That was reduced on appeal to four months, with the banned ending on 4 October.
The UKAD’s statement today says that methylhexaneamine “is increasingly being found in nutritional supplements, typically those that are designed to increase energy or aid weight loss . . . in Ms Wallader’s case the supplement provided to her by coach Geoff Capes contained the listed ingredient 1,3-dimethylamylamine.
“While counselling against the use of supplements, UK Anti-Doping acknowledges that some athletes may choose to do so. Ms Wallader’s case is timely reminder that athletes must carry out a thorough risk assessment. One tool available to athletes is Informed-Sport. This independent programme evaluates supplement manufacturers for their process integrity and screens supplements and ingredients for the presence of prohibited substances.”
UK Anti-Doping chief executive, Andy Parkinson, said: “The outcome of this case, and others from around the world, demonstrates how vigilant athletes must be when it comes to supplements. There is no guarantee that any supplement is free from a prohibited substance. Athletes are ultimately responsible for anything found in their system, no matter how it gets there.”