In a sample of 33 products analysed for 284 different contaminants on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) doping list, the study (in Danish) showed that none of the products contained doping agents.
“We cannot say on the basis of this study that all dietary supplements sold in Denmark are free of doping substances,” says scientific senior consultant Jakob Mørkeberg from Anti-Doping Denmark.
“Our recommendations for practitioners to exercise great caution when using dietary supplements and products targeted sports practice are therefore unchanged."
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The findings are the result of co-ordinated efforts between The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, the Danish Medicines Agency, Anti-Doping Denmark and Team Denmark.
Here, scientists selected 33 samples taken in the period May-June 2018, of which 20 were products produced abroad.
Six of the products were already registered as dietary supplements with The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
A further six were non-registered dietary supplements that were not notified as a dietary supplement before being marketed in Denmark.
The remaining products were assessed as being ordinary foods, which under Danish law do not require registration.
Making unannounced inspections, The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, took samples for later analysis with 10 products from three companies selected for trial purchases over the internet.
The laboratory analysed the samples for a mixture of banned substances from both the Danish Medicines Agency's and Wada’s list that included anabolic steroids and central stimulants.
While initial results found traces of tuaminoheptane in two of the products, further 'verification analysis' confirmed the traces to be negative.
Tuaminopetane is a stimulant recognised on WADA's doping list but is not listed under the Danish Medicines Agency’s list of prohibited substances.
Further results found traces of nicotine in one of the products, which is neither on WADA’s nor the Danish Medicines Agency's list.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said it would speak to the company in question about how nicotine got into the product.
‘A very small sample’
“It is gratifying that we did not find doping substances in the products we controlled,” said Sofie Søe from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration's dietary supplement group.
“But we are very aware that the sample covers only a very small sample of the Danish market.
“Therefore, we cannot conclude about everything that can be bought in Denmark.”
Nutritionist Majke Jørgensen from Team Denmark, an organisation that supports elite-level Danish athletes, said, “For some elite athletes, dietary supplements and products targeted at sports can be beneficial, but there is a risk of accidental ingestion of doping substances through dietary supplements.
“Therefore, we are constantly working to provide the best possible advice to the practitioners making sure they are aware of the limitations of a sample survey.”