Montreal, 1 June, 2004 – Leading experts from around the world met on May 30 – 31 in Montreal, Canada, to deal with the consequences of the use and misuse of nutritional supplements by athletes.
During this two day-symposium organized jointly by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Sport Canada and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), participants from within sport, anti-doping organizations, medical and scientific fields, industry and governments, together with elite athletes and coaches, discussed and made specific recommendations for action in the short, medium and longer term.
In the short term, it was agreed that prior to the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games, stakeholders would again communicate with participants in order to raise awareness about the dangers of contamination of supplements and the importance of the principle of strict liability.
Recommendations in the longer term include the need to have a common definition of nutritional supplements. Coordinated research was encouraged to identify what supplements are being used and abused by athletes and why. It was also agreed that a global database on supplements should be established to ensure that access to all current and reliable information on supplements is made available.
There was a general agreement among participants for a product testing and certification program of supplements which could be supported by the industry. Industry representatives agreed that industry must look at self-regulation programs to improve quality, minimize contamination and provide accurate labeling. Stringent standards and third party, independent auditing and monitoring are important aspects of such a program.
Government representatives also recognized that they should be prepared to enact appropriate regulations on the industry because of their responsibilities for public health, for consumer protection and for education.
Ultimately, it was recommended that a follow-up symposium occur later this year to ensure that these recommendations turn into concrete and coordinated actions. The workshop would involve leaders from these meetings with other experts in other regions of the world.