Despite the risk factors outlined in Supplement 411, USADA understands that some athletes will decide that they still need or want to use dietary supplements. For those who choose to discount the risks or have determined that dietary supplements are still necessary, there are steps athletes can take that may reduce the risk they face, to some degree. The steps outlined in this section 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.
Use the following steps to reduce your risk of testing positive or experiencing adverse health effects. In the event that the use of a dietary supplement causes a harmful side effect, you can report serious problems to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.