Sports nutrition manufacturers, who flout WADA’s anti-doping rules, will be prosecuted under the food safety law as Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken the onus of testing food supplements in the country.
In a first, the agency that has been testing all food products other than sports nutrition so far, will be testing sports supplements in their labs to curb any involvement of banned substances in them.
FSSAI has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), to curb the availability of contaminated nutritional food in Indian market.
“There are many substances that are prohibited by the WADA, but around 10-15 substances are commonly found in sports nutrition available to the athletes. Our aim would be to test the supplements either randomly or by enforcement. If found guilty, the manufacturer will be prosecuted under the food safety laws that are present in the country,” said FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal.
Agarwal said since the procedure will be new to his office, FSSAI will seek NADA lab personnel’s help.
“We have been testing food products since many years, but testing sports nutrition is a new thing for us. Our lab technicians are undergoing a training to learn more about this field and we will also seek NADA technicians’ help to test the products,” he added.
Athletes who have doubts over the standard of a particular product can go send the product to FSSAI labs and get it tested, which wasn’t possible earlier. “We have five labs in the country and anybody who wants to get a product tested can send it to any of these five labs,” he added.
Director General of NADA, Navin Agarwal said the tie-up will help athletes in making the right choice. “Earlier athletes used to get confused about their choice of health supplements or sports nutrition. They now can be sure of the authenticity of the product and form a choice,” the NADA chief said.