The SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) says that the aggressive marketing and use of sport supplements amongst adults and learners are on the rise locally and globally, as are the number of reports of ill-health effects and athletes testing positive for prohibited substances relating to the use of these products. In aid of creating awareness and education on this contentious topic, SAIDS is hosting an I Play Fair Education Symposium on the evolving issues surrounding the use of nutritional supplements by athletes on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.

Last on the day’s roster of keynote speakers at the symposium will be renowned Professor of Sports Science, Tim Noakes. Having competed in over 70 marathons and ultramarathons, Noakes has dealt with the issues around performance dieting and supplements and is an avid supporter of low-carb, high-fat diets. Author of “The Real Meal Revolution,” Noakes sheds light on the intricacies and effectiveness of the Banting Diet and it’s role it plays in a high performance sports nutrition strategy.

Tim Noakes - I Play Fair Education Symposium 1 Tim Noakes - I Play Fair Education Symposium

According to Dr. Amanda Claassen-Smithers, SAIDS Dietitian & Exercise Scientist, a study in 2004 by the International Olympic Committee was amongst the first to unveil the scale of the problem. According to the study 634 products were bought from retail and online stores from 13 different countries. The contents of the products were tested and 94 of the 634 products were found to contain anabolic-androgenic steroids (mainly pro-hormones) that were not declared on the label. In a similar study in 2012, 84 products, such as energy boosters and muscle gain products, were found to contain dangerous ingredients such as steroids, stimulants and other hormones.

“The I Play Fair Education Symposium will be debating issues from the experience and perspectives of various role-players such as Professor Noakes; from the individual athletes and various sporting federations (e.g. SA Rugby Union, Football and Boxing), health professional bodies such as the SA Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) to the Association for Dietetics in SA (ADSA),” says Claasen-Smithers.

“Over the past four years, one in every two inspections by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA found significant manufacturing practice violations by supplement manufacturers – this is the highest rate of any FDA-regulated industry for non-compliance. As such, health authorities from around the world as well as the World Anti-doping Agency have raised their concerns and warn consumers against the risks involved with the use of nutritional and sport supplements,” explains Dr Claasen-Smithers.

“The symposium will include physicians and dietitians working in sport as well as supplement and food product manufacturers welcomed by Dr Harold Adams (chairman of the SAIDS). We will also explore the role of food legislation in regulating the industry and enhancing consumer protection. There will be an update on the marketing claims versus the efficacy and safety of commonly-used supplements, as well as scientifically proven low-risk performance-enhancing nutrition strategies.”

Various elite-level athletes will also share their personal views on supplement-use and will share their nutritional strategies. The symposium is directed at a broad audience from athletes of all ages, coaches and parents, to fitness professionals and healthcare practitioners working in sport. There will also be a session dedicated to issues relating to supplement use by adolescents and what evidence-based nutritional solutions there are to optimise the performance and health of our future generation of athletes.

Registration is R100 per person, a small price to pay to promote clean living. To register for the I Play Fair Education Symposium go to:—education-symposium

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