NFL/NFLPA Supplement Certification Program Announced

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan 30, 2004 -- The following was released today by the NFL, NFLPA and NSF International:

WHAT: The Supplement Certification Program was created by the NFL and NFLPA for eligible and participating manufacturers of nutritional supplements to certify the accuracy of product labeling and to certify that the products contain no substances banned under the NFL/NFLPA Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances. To be eligible, such companies must not manufacture any products that contain substances banned under such Policy.

The pre-packaged, food-based products (protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins) covered by this testing program will initially be limited to the following categories:

-- Multivitamin

-- Pre-Workout

-- Post-Workout Recovery

-- Snack Bars

-- Joint Support Formulas

NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization that is a world leader in the certification of public health and safety programs, will administer the testing of the supplements, including auditing the labs utilized to verify both label accuracy and the absence of NFL/NFLPA Banned Substances.

WHY: Neither the NFL nor the NFLPA endorses or encourages the use of supplements or makes any claims regarding their effectiveness. In fact, the league and union have agreed to ban certain ingredients judged to be harmful to players that have been utilized in manufacturing supplements; for example, stimulants such as ephedra and anabolic steroids, including pre-cursors such as androstenedione.

Some supplement ingredients are currently not regarded by the NFL or NFLPA as harmful to players and are, therefore, not banned. Some players choose to utilize these non-banned nutritional supplements in training. In recognition of this fact, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to certify a limited number of basic nutritional supplements, to provide players who choose to use these particular products with an assurance only that these products are accurately labeled and free of banned substances.

Most supplements are not tested by federal or state governments. Independent studies have suggested that a significant number of supplements contain ingredients not listed on the packaging, including ingredients banned by the NFL and NFLPA Policy. This program addresses that problem by providing players with a reliable source of non-banned supplements.

HOW: Manufacturers that wish to be considered for this certification program must apply to the NFL and NFLPA, providing detailed information, including, for example, financial history and stability, product mix, marketing, insurance coverage and litigation/regulatory agency history. Companies that apply and meet the NFL/NFLPA criteria may participate in the certification program. NSF will conduct a Good Manufacturing Practices audit of all such companies' manufacturing and distribution facilities and will regularly test product lots for accuracy in labeling. In addition, each product lot will be tested under NSF supervision for banned substances prior to packaging, distribution and sale.

All product packaging and all advertising, marketing and publicity materials for products certified under this program will display the symbols and copy, subject to the approval of all such materials by the NFL and NFLPA. ( )

WHO: The following persons are responsible for the day-to-day administration of NFL/NFLPA Supplement Certification Program:

Doug Allen, Assistant Executive Director
Stacy Robinson, Director of Player Development
NFL Players Association
2021 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 463-2200

Dennis Curran, Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Peter Rucco, Senior Vice President
Adolpho Birch, Labor Relations Counsel
National Football League
280 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
(212) 450-2000

NSF International
Kathleen Pompliano, MS, RD, General Manager, Dietary Supplements Program
Lori Bestervelt, PhD, Chief Technical Officer
NSF International
789 Dixboro Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(800) 673-6275

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