Changes in supplements regulation is good news for athletes

  • Integrity Blog

Changes introduced by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in relation to certain sports supplements is good news for Australian athletes. 

The TGA has made a legislative change to help protect Australian consumers from the unsafe use of certain sports supplements. From 30 November 2020, in order for sports supplements with therapeutic claims containing higher-risk ingredients to be advertised and supplied, they must be included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

They must also meet legislated requirements that ensure the safety, quality and efficacy for medicines, including advertising. Under the change common sports supplement foods such as protein powders, nutrition bars and sports drinks will not be affected where they do not contain high-risk substances. 

The change only applies to those products that make claims relating to performance in sport, exercise or recreational activity and: 

  • Contain ingredients that are higher risk (such as those containing substances in a schedule to the Poisons Standard or included in the World Anti-Doping Code’s Prohibited List), or 
  • Are in a medicinal dosage form of a tablet, capsule or pill. 

While this is a positive step in helping to protect consumers through the greater regulation of products with higher risk ingredients, athletes must not become complacent. Even with these protections the anti-doping risk remains and athletes need to remain diligent about using batch-testing products.