PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - In response to a spate of positive drug tests, the ATP is forming a panel to educate players about nutritional supplements.
“On the one hand, it is clear that dietary and nutritional supplements pose real risks of testing positive under anti-doping rules,” ATP chief executive Mark Miles said Monday.
“On the other hand, elite athletes have special dietary and nutritional needs, and often are advised to take vitamins, minerals and supplements to prevent heat exhaustion, cramping and other ailments.”
The new ATP Task Force on Supplements will “explore and develop options to help players manage the risks associated with taking nutritional supplements,” Miles said.
One of its goals will be to cooperate with supplement suppliers to develop new quality control standards. The group’s first meeting is March 23 in Miami.
Panel members include players, such as Andre Agassi and Tim Henman, and doctors. It will be headed by International Tennis Hall of Fame chairman Jan Leschly, a former top 10 player who used to be the CEO of a pharmaceutical company.
In May, the ATP instructed its training and medical staff to stop issuing supplements that might have been contaminated. Seven players who tested positive for nandrolone were cleared after the possibility was raised they might have taken tainted supplements unwittingly given out by tour trainers.
Greg Rusedski, the 1997 U.S. Open runner-up, is awaiting word on whether he will be punished after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone at a tournament in July. He could be suspended for up to two years, although Rusedski denied using the banned substance — and said it might have come from tour-supplied supplements.
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