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EFSMA european federation of sports medicine associations
Newsletter Medicina Sportiva

Romanian Society for Sports Medicine

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"Medicina Sportiva" No.14 - 2008 The 15-th Sports Medicine Balkan Congress


Jelena Suzic, Nenad Dikic, Nenad Radivojevic
Anti-Doping Agency of Serbia

Introduction. Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) categorized nutritional supplements (NS) in four groups: group A - approved NS, group B - NS under consideration, group C - no clear proof of beneficial effects and group D - banned NS.
Objectives. The aim of our study was to describe qualitatively and quantitatively NS and medications used by elite athletes.
Methods. We analyzed data collected from athletes (n = 618; age 24.2 ± 5.8 yrs; 72% male) from national, international competitions and out-of-competition done by ADAS from 2005 - 2008.
Results. Among reported substances 68.5% were NS and 29.6% medications. NS have taken by 58% (2.87 per athlete) and medications by 39% of athletes (1.87 per athlete). Almost 18 % of all users reported use of 6 or more different products and one athlete took 17 different products at the same time. In group A of AIS classification was  (59.6%) and from group B, C and D, 4.6%, 35.1%, 0.8%, respectively. Majority of athletes who reported use of medication used NSAID (n = 173, 71.8%; 27.9% of all examined athletes). More than one NSAID was taken by 26% (45) users. In addition, more frequent use of NS among younger athletes was observed (p <0.05).
Conclusion. Our study confirmed overuse of supplements and drugs by elite athletes. Fact that large number of athletes used supplements with no evident performance or health benefits, demonstrated the need for specific educational initiatives. Amount, quantity and combination of reported products raised concern about risk of potential side events.

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