Developing European Standards to help preventing the use of prohibited substances in sports and fitness

  • Doping, Fitness, Sports

Seven European countries plus other experts are developing some important European standards that aim for the “Good development and manufacturing practices aimed at preventing the presence of prohibited substances in food supplements and food intended for sportspeople”. EuropeActive, represented by Director of Programmes, Cliff Collins, realized in this conference how many products are being sold with various claims of helping fitness people to improve performance, strength, endurance and hydration, for example, and some of these products can contain doping substances.

Although some existing consumer laws offer some protection there can be (inadvertent) cross-contamination with banned and prohibited doping substances. The new CEN 453 standards recognise the hazard of doping substances on health. The prevention of doping by contamination of food supplements and sport foods is a recognised important public health issue that concerns all sportspeople, including those from recreational sport and fitness.  

For the past 10 years, EuropeActive has taken a positive position of identifying doping issues around the fitness sector and works with national agencies, the European Commission and other stakeholders in a positive position to help reduce the prevalence of doping. It is currently running a major project FAIR (Forum for Doping in Recreational Sport) which is proposing specific actions to better inform fitness users and the operators of the potential health hazards connected to doping practices.

The project includes a review of existing interventions on doping in recreational sport and the position of food/supplements for sportspeople, so the proposed CEN 453 standards are an essential contribution. Many fitness centres sell or offer food and supplements to their customers so the new CEN Standard will provide a higher level of assurance that they have been developed and manufactured in a way that will have helped to prevent them containing any doping substances.