Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Sports watchdog warns about risk of banned stimulants

Certain energy drinks and health supplements may contain outlawed ingredients, says the UAE's anti-doping organisation.

DUBAI // The sports doping watchdog has warned athletes over widely available nutritional supplements that may contain drugs banned in competition.

The National Anti-Doping Organisation (Nado) said pre-workout drinks and bodybuilding supplements available in nutrition shops across the country could contain substances that could lead to a suspension or permanent exclusion.

"Athletes are responsible for what they eat or drink," said Ahmed Al Hashimi, the chairman of Nado.

"If there's any substance you are doubtful of, don't use it unless you know for sure. If you use it, you are responsible."

The call comes after two swimmers were banned in New Zealand for using an energy drink called Jack3d, which contains the stimulant methylhexaneamine. One of them, Blair Jacobs, said he had not known the supplement contained the substance.

Mr Al Hashimi said that while the substance had not shown up in drug tests in the Emirates, other banned substances had been detected and were readily available over the counter. He declined to elaborate.

His officials carried out 509 random tests last year in a range of sports, from basketball and football to bodybuilding.

The UAE does not have a laboratory accredited by the World Anti Doping Agency (Wada), so the athlete's urine samples were sent to other labs in Europe and Asia.

Very few were positive, he said, although he declined to say how many.

"There's a lot of education about doping these days," he said. "The cases we do have could have been due to negligence, or from prescription drugs from the doctor."

Abdul Aziz Al Muhairi, the secretary general for Nado, said the only cases last year were in competition bodybuilding, where athletes had been taking testosterone-enhancing drugs.

However, dietary supplements have also become a concern. Jack3d has become popular with bodybuilders, and is sold in nutrition shops and pharmacies, and online.

One Dubai-based bodybuilder, who declined to be named, said he had used Jack3d for three days but decided to stop because it contained methylhexaneamine.

"The side effects are not really known and there are both negative and positive reports on this particular stimulant," he said.

"I'm very picky about what I put into my body so I decided that this product wasn't worth the risk."

Methylhexaneamine, also known as 1.3 dimethylamylamine, behaves like a mild amphetamine and is used in several brands of "legal highs" in Europe and Australia.

It was added to Wada's list of banned stimulants in 2009 and a year later the Nigerian athlete Damola Osayemi was stripped of the gold medal she won in the Commonwealth Games' 100m after testing positive for the substance.

However, Jack3d has been rigorously tested for safety, according to Casey Bard, the vice president of its US-based manufacturer, USPlabs.

"It is important to distinguish between safe to use from a health standpoint, and prohibited to use under the varying standards and rules adopted by different sports governing bodies throughout the world," he said.

"From a safety standpoint, all USPlabs products are manufactured to the highest standards of quality, and are safe to use as directed."

mcroucher@thenational.ae

 

What to look out for:

Pseudoephedrine

Found in decongestants such as Sudafed and Nurofen Cold and Flu – the latter available in Boots pharmacy. A stimulant prohibited when concentration is found in urine to be above 150 micrograms per ml.

Somatotropin

A human growth hormone available in injection form in the drug Norditropin. Prescription-only in some countries, but available over the counter, without a doctor’s letter, at Bin Sina Pharmacy in Dubai Mall.

Methylhexaneamine

A stimulant found in pre-workout supplements such as Jack3d and Hemo Rage. Available at Planet Nutrition and Bin Sina Pharmacy in Dubai Mall.

* Martin Croucher

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Shah Rukh Khan performs at the IPL Gala dinner to open IPL VII at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In pictures: Shah Rukh Khan stars at IPL Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi

The superstar entertainer Shah Rukh Khan on stage last night at a gala dinner to launch the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 The year-long project aims to create a form of social autobiography — the story of Dubai documented by those who know it best, the people who live there.

Zoom in! This is your Dubai in a single image

On our sixth birthday, we are all about pictures. So here is our #mydubai offering. Using zoom.it, explore the city.

 This Dh17,000 Miele system can prepare your choice of coffee - from capuccino to espresso - at a touch of a button. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Miele puts art in coffee making

Miele has devoted itself to the art of preparing the black liquid with its beautifully designed coffee machines, living up to its mantra of turning kitchens into cafés.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National