Recent Reports Underscore the Importance of Testing Supplements for Athletic Banned Substances

Ann Arbor, MI – Recent news stories on steroid use in sports continue to emphasize the importance of screening dietary supplements and sports nutrition products for banned substances. NSF International’s Athletic Banned Substances Certification Program offers a solution for athletes, coaches, trainers and anyone concerned about banned substances.

The NSF certification program creates a level playing field for athletes committed to fair play by certifying sports supplements that have met NSF's Athletic Banned Substances certification guidelines and provides key preventive measures to:

Protect against adulteration of products
Verify label claims with product contents
Identify inappropriate substances in the finished product
NSF’s Athletic Banned Substances Certification Program has been recommended by key athletic organizations, including Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, the National Football League, the National Football League Players Association and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. Products that have been certified by NSF bear the NSF Certified for Sport™ Mark ( to demonstrate that a manufacturer has met all program requirements, which include:

Toxicology review
Facility inspection/Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) audit
Annual laboratory testing/analysis
Product certification
The Certified for Sport™ mark helps athletes and consumers make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing dietary supplements and other sports nutrition products.

Lori Bestervelt, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & Chief Technical Officer, NSF International says, "The athletic community has expressed increasing concerns that supplements may contain undeclared ingredients that could lead to positive testing for banned substances. Our certification program directly addresses these concerns and offers a solution."

Products that have met NSF’s Athletic Banned Substances Certification Program requirements can be found at Manufacturers, finished product companies or ingredient suppliers that manufacture a steroid or steroid precursor or any other substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), NFL/NFLPA, and MLB/MLBPA prohibitive substances lists ( are excluded from participating in the program.

Background on the Program

The Athletic Banned Substances Program is part of NSF's successful 60-year history of providing certification programs for food, water and consumer goods. NSF developed and maintains the only accredited American National Standard to certify dietary supplements – NSF/ANSI Standard 173. By building on NSF/ANSI 173, NSF developed a comprehensive certification program and a manufacturing process evaluation to ensure the actual product contents match those printed on the label.

For more information about NSF’s Athletic Banned Substances Program or if you are interested in setting up an interview with Dr. Bestervelt, please contact Greta Houlahan at 248.866.5326 or [email protected].

About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods ( Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.

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