South African Journal of Sports Medicine

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Dietary supplements containing prohibited substances: A review (Part 2)

P van der Bijl


The role of prohormones, ‘classic’ and ‘designer’ steroids, clenbuterol, peptide hormones and newer molecules causing concern in dietary supplements is discussed. Apart from their potential adverse effects on athletes’ health, their non-achievement of increased strength and muscle size, trace quantities present in contaminated dietary supplements can lead to failed doping tests. The methodologies used for the identification and determination of prohibited substances in very low concentrations, mainly liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, are also addressed. Of concern is the anticipation that the number of dietary supplements containing (not yet) prohibited designer steroids and other performance-enhancing newer chemical entities will increase. Athletes, coaches and sports doctors should therefore be provided with information regarding dietary supplements and be advised to minimise risks for non-intentional ingestion of forbidden substances by using safe products listed on databases, such as those obtainable in The Netherlands and Germany.

AJOL African Journals Online