Supplement Company Guarantees Purity with Hard Cash

Supplement Company Guarantees Purity with Hard Cash

In this month’s “Editor’s Note,” Phil Whitten outlines the Catch-22 in which athletes are caught: some perfectly legal nutritional supplements are tainted with small amounts of illegal, performance-enhancing substances.

The IOC knows which companies have been found to make or distribute tainted substances, but it’s not talking. As a result, some athletes-including swimmers-apparently have taken vitamins and other legal supplements in good faith, only to find they’ve tested positive. Branded as drug cheats, they’ve been banned from competition, their reputations permanently stained, their careers in shatters.

Indeed, some athletes have become so fearful of tainted nutritional supplements, they’ve stopped taking vitamin C for fear of failing a doping test.

Now, a Salt Lake City company has stepped up, guaranteeing to pay Canadian elite athletes who test positive while using its nutritional supplements up to $1 million Canadian ($770,000 U.S.). USANA Health Sciences says it is so sure of the purity of its products that it plans to extend the guarantee-the first of its kind-to U.S. and other foreign athletes.

The idea for the USANA offer came from two of the company’s Canadian distributors. “They said, 1If you’re so doggone sure (about manufacturing ‘drug-free’ supplements), why don’t you put your money where you mouth is and offer a guarantee?'” said Tim Wood, USANA’s vice president of research and development. “We took it to heart and decided to offer this program.”

Copyright Sports Publications, Inc. Mar 2004

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