14th September 2017

FSSAI and NADA to work jointly to address use of doping substances in sports nutrition

Cases of doping among athletes owing to contamination in food supplements is a serious issue for the sports sector. The number and spread of wide variety of nutritional food supplements makes it difficult to find traces of banned or adulterated substances in the open market. To ensure availability of safe & dope-free dietary/ nutritional supplements for the sport professionals catering to their health and nutritional needs, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is contemplating to support National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) with a shared vision.

FSSAI, today, has joined hands with NADA by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in an endeavor to focus on ensuring coordination of co-operative activities within Government agencies in order to address the issue of doping substances and other adulterants/ contamination in food supplements/ nutritional products used in sports. The areas of potential cooperation and development of further understandings under this agreement include following key areas:

  1. Guidance on the use of, and labelling/claims for, supplements/products for special dietary purposes meant for sports
  2. Undertake surveillance and enforcement activities for both domestically produced and imported sports-nutrition supplements/ products with particular focus on any use of doping substances and other adulterants in such products and on counterfeit products
  3. Build capacity of the regulatory staff for effective surveillance and enforcement activities at the ground level
  4. Build capacity in FSSAI notified primary and referral laboratories for detection of doping substances and adulterants in sports-nutrition supplements/products. Five such labs will be identified for this purpose
  5. Provide education and awareness support on safe and judicious use of sports-nutrition supplements/products through guidance documents, training and awareness programme in partnership with other stakeholders

As a part of the MoU, a Working Group has been set-up for more focused work in this direction. The working Group will comprise of member(s) of the FSSAI scientific panel on functional foods, nutraceuticals, dietetic products and other similar products along with representatives of NADA. Representatives of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Narcotics Control Bureau and others, as and when required, may be co-opted in the Working Group.

While addressing the press conference, Sh. Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI shared that this joint effort backed by an effective regulatory mechanism towards ensuring safety & quality of sports-nutrition supplements/ food products would construct a strong mechanism to curb the availability of contaminated nutritional food supplements in the open market. “This intends to develop and strengthen co-operation in the field of Sports Nutrition including healthy nutrition practices that enhance lifelong health & fitness of competing athletes. This would also ensure that the food safety ecosystem in the field of sports nutrition becomes more robust over the time,” he said.

Sh. Navin Aggarwal, DG & CEO, NADA said, “This holistic effort aims to provide an eco-system of safe food for sport professionals across the country. It is one of the significant step for NADA to ensure healthy and safe supplements for competing athletes. Under this initiative, a collaborative program will be made to disseminate the information on the judicious use of supplements.”

• This media release was originally published on 14 September 2017 by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). To download the original, please click here.

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