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UNLV Sports Medicine
NUTRITIONAL AND DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

May 2, 2011

Due to the increasing number of student-athletes who are taking substances that purport to improve athletic performance "legally and naturally", the following guidelines should be adhered to prior to the recommendation, purchase, and distribution of nutritional/dietary supplements.

The UNLV Head Team Physician/Medical Director has been designated as the staff member to answer all student-athlete and staff questions about dietary supplements and NCAA banned drugs.

UNLV is obligated to educate athletics department staff members who have regular interaction with student-athletes about the NCAA list of banned drug classes and to advise them that any nutritional supplement use may endanger a student-athlete's health and eligibility.

When student-athletes sign the NCAA drug-testing consent form, they are warned that dietary supplements are not well regulated, may contain NCAA banned substances and are taken at the student-athletes' own risk. Student-athletes are encouraged to check with their Head Team Physician before consuming any substance other than food.

The safest approach for student-athlete health and eligibility would be to avoid the use of unregulated dietary supplements. UNLV supports this approach since there is no way to guarantee purity and safety of any supplement product.

1. All athletic department administrators, strength and conditioning coordinators, coaches, athletic trainers, student-athletes and any other athletic department personnel, must adhere to current NCAA medical information about nutritional dietary supplements. In accordance with the ADVISORY from the NCAA and with the current UNLV Department of Intercollegiate Athletic Department policy, the UNLV Department of Intercollegiate Athletics does not provide, endorse or approve nutritional or dietary supplements for use by student-athletes. "Many nutritional/dietary supplements contain NCAA banned substances. In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not strictly regulate the supplement industry; therefore purity and safety of nutritional/dietary supplements cannot be guaranteed. Impure supplements may lead to a positive NCAA drug test. The use of supplements is at the student-athlete's own risk." (ADVISORY on Nutritional/Dietary Supplements, March 8, 2005).

Therefore, the student-athletes assume all responsibility for the use of nutritional or dietary supplements. IGNORANCE TO THIS RULE IS NO EXCUSE FOR A POSITIVE DRUG TEST.

2. Compounds that are purchased from "nutrition" stores or mail-order catalogs may not be subject to the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Therefore, the contents of these compounds are not known and are not represented accurately on the list of ingredients. IN ADDITION, MOST OF THESE COMPOUNDS HAVE LITTLE OR NO POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON EXERCISE PERFORMANCE.

3. Some of these compounds or substances contain small amounts of banned substances such as testosterone or other anabolic steroids, or may be anabolic steroids, but not labeled as such.

4. USE OF THESE AND ALL SUBSTANCES ARE AT THE RISK OF THE STUDENT-ATHLETE. A POSITIVE URINALYSIS FOR ANABOLIC STEROIDS OR TESTOSTERONE/EPITESTOSTERONE AT A RATIO GREATER THAT 6 TO 1 (6:1 IS THE CURRENT NCAA LIMITS) OR METABOLITE IS STILL CONSIDERED A POSITIVE TEST, REGARDLESS OF THE PRODUCTS, SUBSTANCES OR COMPOUNDS INGESTED BY THE STUDENT-ATHLETE.

5. It is not possible for the intercollegiate athletic administration, team physicians, drug program coordinator, and the NCAA drug-testing committee to determine the student-athlete's intent when he or she tests positive for a banned substance. Many student-athlete's will deny the use or substances. The appeal process is designed to afford the student-athlete the opportunity to present MEDICAL INFORMATION about the use of banned substances. STUDENT-ATHLETES WHO HAVE APPEALED POSITIVE DRUG TESTS ON THE BASIS THAT THEY DID NOT KNOW THE SUBSTANCES THEY WERE TAKING CONTAINED BANNED DRUGS HAVE NOT BEEN SUCCESSFUL.

6. The purchasing, distribution, and/or experimentation with any nutritional or dietary supplement must be approved by the Head Team Physician.

7. Student-athletes should be instructed to consult the UNLV Team Physician before taking ANY nutritional or dietary supplement. For more information refer to the NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook which is available in the Athletic Training Department. You can also contact the Dietary Supplement Resource Exchange Center at (816) 474-8655, (877) 202-0769 or www.drugfreesport.com/rec. Password: NCAA1.

8. Some over-the-counter dietary supplements contain substances banned by the NCAA. The Dietary Supplement Resource Exchange Center (The REC) provides student-athletes and all those involved with NCAA athletics a free, confidential source of information about NCAA banned substances. Through the REC, questions about nutritional or performance-enhancing supplements and other drugs or medications can be answered before a mistake is made. Many dietary supplements can cause a positive NCAA drug test. When this occurs, the "I didn't know" defense isn't enough to get a student-athlete back in the game. Ignorance is no excuse. Contacting the REC hotline or visiting the REC website before taking dietary or performance-enhancing supplements is all it takes to get the right information.

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