(Ottawa, Ontario – October 10, 2019) – The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) reminds athletes, support personnel and the sport community about the risks of using supplements and sport nutrition products.

Unlike the food and pharmaceutical industries, supplement manufacturing is subject to little government regulation and as a result, some supplements contain ingredients that are not listed on the product labels, either deliberately or due to cross-contamination or adulteration.

After a number of anti-doping rule violations, the CCES is warning athletes to be particularly cautious of the following substances included in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List:

Higenamine is a beta-2 agonist, a substance that helps the lungs take in more oxygen. It is often identified as a “natural” ingredient in supplements and may be listed as nandina domestica, demethylcoclaurine, norcoclaurine, tinospora crispa, aconitum japonicum, gnetum parvifolium and asarum hetertropoides. It has been found in many supplements including, but not limited to, OxyShred, Alpha T2 and PES Alphamine Advanced.

Anabolic androgenic steroids and other substances with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s). Banned substances like clenbuterol, testosterone and stanazolol may be omitted from the ingredient list or cloaked under a pseudonym or ‘proprietary ingredient.’

Selective androgen receptor modulators, known as SARMS, have similar properties to anabolic agents, but with reduced androgenic properties, which results in a lack of steroid-related side effects. Examples of SARMs include andarine, LGD-4033 (ligandrol), enobosarm (ostarine) and RAD140.  

Non-approved substances are pharmacological substances with no current approval by any governmental regulatory health authority for human therapeutic use and are not addressed by the Prohibited List. Examples include drugs under development, discontinued drugs, designer drugs and substances approved only for veterinary use.

The CCES will not consider applications for Medical Exemptions for supplements and sport nutrition products.

Athletes should keep these actions top of mind to minimize the risk of an unintentional anti-doping rule violation and to be an informed consumer: 

  • Prior to using supplements, consult a physician or dietician to determine whether a diet-first approach to nutrition would be effective. Make sure they know that you are subject to anti-doping rules and are familiar with the Prohibited List.    
  • Assess the product label with a critical eye. Does it make unreasonable or unrealistic claims? Is the ingredient list vague or lacking detail?
  • Conduct a detailed internet search into the product and manufacturer. Do they make products that contain prohibited substances? If so, then there is a high risk of cross contamination.
  • Select a supplement that is verified by a third-party program that batch tests supplements for banned substances and purity, such as NSF Certified for SportTM. WADA and national anti-doping organizations do not test or certify supplements.
  • Maintain a log of your supplement use, including batch or lot numbers, purchase details and date of consumption.
  • Use Global DRO to check the ingredients against the Prohibited List, but remember that this does not provide assurances against unlisted or misidentified ingredients, or contaminated products. 


About the CCES

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for profit organization with a responsibility to administer the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. The CCES acknowledges funding, in part, from the Government of Canada. We are committed to making sport better by working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.

For further information, please contact:

+1 613-521-3340 x3233
[email protected]