Reduce The Risk

In other parts of this resource, there is an explanation about how and why the decision to use dietary supplements can be a risky decision for athletes and consumers. As a reminder:

  • The use of dietary supplements can and has led to positive anti-doping drug tests

  • The use of dietary supplements can and has led to harmful health issues

Despite the risk factors, USADA understands that some athletes will decide that they still must use dietary supplements. For those who choose to ignore the risks or have determined that dietary supplements are still necessary, there may be ways that an athlete can reduce the risks to some degree. Many of these steps center around research, awareness, thoughtful questioning, and becoming as fully informed as possible. Remember, following these steps will not eliminate the risk involved with taking dietary supplements; the aim is to only help reduce the risk as much as possible.

It is possible that an athlete can follow every one of these steps and still test positive for a prohibited substance or fall victim to negative health effects. The only way for an athlete to completely eliminate the risks associated with dietary supplements is to avoid dietary supplement use all together.