Are You Competing Clean?

By Dr. Rick Kattouf II

 

**This article is addressing athletes that compete in sports where USADA & WADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency & World Anti-Doping Agency) set the guidelines for prohibited substances. If athletes compete in sports where these substances are not banned and/or someone does not compete at all and they choose to take such substances, that's their choice of course**


Competition; it’s what drives so many of us at athletes. Competing against ourselves and competing against others can bring out the best in us. For competitive athletes, it’s not uncommon to have a ‘I’ll do whatever it takes’ mentality. As potent and powerful as this mind set is to become the best athlete possible, it can also cause athletes to cross the line. The phrase ‘Performance Enhancer’ is commonly used in all sports. Performance enhancers basically come in 2 flavors:

  1. Legal performance enhancers (caffeine, for example)
  2. Banned substances

 

Let’s take a closer look as defined by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency).

 

When athletes hear the word ‘doping’ and ‘banned substances’, they may associate this with Anabolic Steroids (more on this later). And yes, while anabolic agents are banned substances, there are many other supplements (over-the-counter), prescription medications, etc., that are banned as well. And there is a very good chance that athletes are not even aware of such banned substances.

 

Let’s take a closer look at a supplement that can be purchased over-the-counter and can be found in nutrition supplements, SARMS (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). As a result, if an athlete is using DHEA and/or DHEA is in one of their nutrition supplements and or SARMS, they are using a banned substance. CLICK HERE for the Athlete Guide to the 2019 Prohibited List and CLICK HERE for the Athlete Guide to the 2020 Prohibited List. Other ingredients that can be found in some nutrition supplements, such as insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1), is also on the prohibited list. Bottom line is this, sure, these supplements are available over-the-counter, but this does not mean that they are legal (both in and out of competition). And an athlete’s response of, ‘but I bought this over-the-counter’, does not give exemption. As athletes, we must be very aware as to what we are putting in our bodies, take full responsibility for it and ensure we are competing clean. Be sure to visit SUPPLEMENT411 to ensure that you are not using nutrition supplements that contain banned substances. In addition, be sure to check the prescription medication(s) you are taking, CLICK HERE

 

TeamKattouf® Nutrition Supplements do Not contain any banned substances.

 

The Elephant in the Room

It’s understandable that as individuals get older, they want to feel as youthful as possible. They want higher energy levels, increases in libido, increases in strength, increases in stamina, etc. These wants have caused individual to seek out anti-aging options. As a result, a buzz-term has surfaced, TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy). Let’s just cut right to the chase. What is testosterone? Simple, it’s an anabolic steroid. Yes, an anabolic steroid. The same anabolic steroid that, all too often, professional (and many amateur) athletes get busted for and are then crucified in the media. But in a strange twist, when an individual is being administered TRT under the care of a physician, they give themselves a pass. OK, look, even if your Dr. diagnoses you with Low-T (low testosterone levels), and you start to take testosterone (creams, gels, pellets, injections, oral), it’s still a banned substance; you are taking anabolic steroids. Call it TRT if you choose, but bottom line is that you are taking a prohibited substance, anabolic steroids. And no, using the excuse, “but I have Low-T”, or, “but my Dr. prescribed it” does not get you off the hook. This is not like being late for middle school and bringing a doctor’s note.

 

Often times, an age group/amateur athlete will try to minimize their use of doctor Rxd testosterone with a statement such as, “it’s no big deal. My testosterone was so low, I’m just taking a small amount to get my levels back to normal.” No big deal, huh? Ok, let’s roll with that. If it’s not a big deal, then let’s do this. Athletes, understandably so, enjoy sharing their athletic accomplishments and PRs on social media. I get it, you are proud of what you accomplished. So, if the testosterone you are taking is no big deal, be sure to post the following, “I just crushed my PR…and I’m taking anabolic steroids!” And be sure to #USADA #WADA. Now let’s see what, no big deal, this is now.

 

In addition, athletes using banned substances will say things such as, ‘Well it’s not like I’m going to win the race or even win my age group’, or, ‘I only take testosterone a few months out of the year; it’s not like I use it every day’, or, ‘I’m just taking the smallest dose possible.’ These are not valid arguments. This is like saying you are going to rob a bank but only request a few hundred dollars; it’s like you are asking them to open the vault! A bank robbery is a bank robbery no matter what. And doping is doping, no matter what; small amount of the banned substance, large amount of the banned substance, it does not matter. A banned substance is a banned substance, period.

 

Athletes want to get the most out of themselves and the most out of their body. Athletes want to challenge themselves, physically and mentally, and they want to stretch their comfort zone. This is that competitive drive and fire that athletes have within them. Let’s do all we can to ensure we are competing clean. Let's choose to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Let’s maintain the integrity of the sports we compete in. And let’s be sure we keep ourselves well informed of the rules, stay within those boundaries, compete at the highest level possible and compete clean. If an individual chooses to use testosterone or some other banned substance, that’s their choice…just don’t pin a number on.

 

Key resources for Athletes & Coaches:

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Rick Kattouf II, O.D. is a 2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite® Trainers of the Year. Rick is a Sports Nutrition Specialist, Heart Rate Performance Specialist, Master Personal Trainer & Triathlon Coach. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune, National Examiner, Ironman.com, My Fitness Pal, Livestrong.com, Runner’s World, Bicycling Magazine, Men’s Health UK, FIGHT! Magazine, Florida Cycling Magazine and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Inc, CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Nutrition LLC, CEO/Founder of Virtual Gym LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf® Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury® Nutrition Supplement, 5-Round Fury Fitness® workout app, Creator of Coach2CEO, Creator of Fuel Keeper®, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. Dr. Rick has personally coached individuals in 30+ states and 10+ countries.