ORADO executive officer Natanya Potoi-Ulia told local media that athletes should not risk taking food supplements as she said many were not manufactured to the standards of pharmaceuticals.
Ignoring the fact that many food supplements are indeed manufactured employing pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practises (GMP), Potoi-Ulia made the unfavourable comparison between the two types of products.
“[Food supplements] are not like medication. Pharmaceutical companies are actually regulated so they have strict rules in regards to how they produce or process anything with regards to the medication whereas for supplements there is no strict regulation that applies to them.”
Food supplements, like food, are in fact strictly regulated around the world and harmonisation efforts have been ongoing in Asia with countries like India, China and Japan updating food supplement manufacture and marketing regulations along with the likes of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Potoi-Ulia reminded athletes they are strictly liable for all nutritional bodily inputs and that the oft-used alibi of contaminated food supplements rarely succeeds with sporting and anti-doping authorities.
In the UK earlier this year, however, this defense did succeed in partially reducing the doping bans of two Welsh athletes.
The Pacific Games take place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, between July 4 and 18.