Staying Vigilant to Protect Your Health and Reputation
When an athlete competes in the UFC, they are not only accepting the opportunity to be in the spotlight, but also under the spotlight when it comes to clean sport. As such, athletes who are subject to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy have to be particularly vigilant about the substances they consume, medical treatment they receive, people they associate with, and competitive practices they accept. This vigilance means recognizing high risk behaviors and situations to minimize the risk of a positive test, adverse health event, or rule violation. While USADA is always available to help, athletes also need to be able to recognize clean sport red flags, so as to protect their health, their reputation, and their livelihoods.
#2: Thinking supplements are regulated to be safe
While athletes should consult health professionals about the use of supplements, it’s equally important for athletes and their support personnel to understand that supplements always pose some level of risk.
In most countries, supplements are regulated post-market or not at all, which means that no regulatory body evaluates the contents safety or efficacy before they are sold to consumers. Unfortunately, supplements are sometimes sold without question or assessment until it becomes evident from consumer reports of negative health events that the product is harmful. Even then, supplements with harmful or illegal ingredients may remain on shelves for years.
It’s also important to realize that supplement manufacturers may misidentify prohibited substances on labels, or they may fail to list prohibited substances altogether. Given these regulatory issues, it’s a major red flag if supplements are touted to be reliably safe or free of side effects.
Also, be aware that the term natural doesn’t always mean safe either. Using supplements is AT YOUR OWN RISK.