Dietary Supplements

Athlete Advice

Dietary Supplements

Athletes should take extreme care if they decide to take dietary supplements. If you are a competition badminton player, you should get advice from your dietitian, National Federation or national Anti-Doping Organisation on the risks and benefits of of taking dietary supplements.

Supplements include:

  • Protein shakes
  • Energy drinks
  • Herbal remedies
  • Vitamins

There has been a significant number of positive tests resulting from the misuse of supplements or poorly labelled dietary supplements. There are risks in taking supplements because:

  • manufacturing of supplements is not highly regulated, compared to the production of medicines;
  • supplements can be accidentally cross contaminated by other substances made in the same factory;
  • labeling of supplements do not follow strict rules and it varies from country to country;
  • not all the ingredients may be listed on the label;
  • ingredients can have many different names, some come in different forms with different product names;
  • supplements could contain prohibited substances which are not declared on the label.  Some suppliers deliberately put in substances that are not declared on the label to get a better result and sales of their product (for example to build muscle mass quicker for the user).


There is little or no scientific evidence that a healthy and balanced diet needs supplementing. A change in your diet or training programme could give you better results. It is important to seek advice from your doctor or a sports dietitian about whether you really need to take supplements or not.


Strict Liability

Anti-doping tests can take place anywhere and at any time. Athletes are responsible for looking after their body and knowing what they eat, drink or ingest.

  • An athlete is responsible for every substance they ingest / found in their body.
  • By taking a supplement, you accept the risk that it could contain a banned substance.
  • Bad labeling or undeclared substances on the label is not an adequate defense in a doping hearing.


Links and Resources

Doping Free Sport New Zealand

US Anti-Doping Agency

UK Anti-Doping