Lehigh Sports Medicine: Drug Testing
Lehigh Sports Medicine
IMPORTANT DRUG INFORMATION
Updated May 2008
NCAA states: "Student athletes continue to test positive for the use of nutritional dietary supplements." Further.... "All nutritional/dietary supplements carry some risk of containing an NCAA banned substance because they are not well regulated and may be contaminated. Failure to check out a supplement with your sports medicine staff prior to use may result in a failed appeal for a positive drug test. Ultimately, student-athletes are responsible for anything they ingest."
Lastly, please feel free to utilize the confidential service Resource Exchange Center (REC) provided for you as a student-athlete to answer questions or concerns about dietary supplements. Address: www.drugfreesport.com/rec. Your password is ncaa1
Dear Student Athlete,
There have been 3 recent press releases from the NCAA involving banned substances. In light of our NCAA Year-Round (Fall/Spring) and summer drug testing, we share the following pertinent information as it directly affects each student-athlete individually.
The first press release from the NCAA dealt with an ingredient contained in “over-the-counter” (otc) cold and flu remedies. Products such as Alka-Seltzer Plus tablets containing the stimulant phenylepherine were banned until recently. Due to the lack of availability of another permissible stimulant, pseudoephedrine, Sports Medicine staffs nationally have had problems obtaining cold and flu products for student-athletes. The Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) recommended the immediate removal of phenylepherine from the list of NCAA banned drugs. So what does this mean to Lehigh University Student-Athletes? Cold and flu products containing the substances phenylepherine and pseudoephedrine are no longer banned by the NCAA and permissible for consumption.
The second press release came immediately following several positive drug tests at individual NCAA member institutions across the country. These positive tests involved another stimulant known as synepherine (also known as citrus aurantium, zhi shi and bitter orange). Synepherine can be found in some energy drinks and weight loss products often replacing ephedrine which was completely pulled from the market in 2004. Please note: A positive drug test for synephrine or any other banned substance results in the loss of one year of eligibility, and one full season of competition in all sports.
Many nutritional/dietary supplements contain NCAA banned substances. In addition, the U.S. food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not strictly regulate the supplement industry; therefore, purity and safety of nutritional supplements cannot be guaranteed. Impure supplements may lead to a positive NCAA drug test. Student-athletes assume the risk that supplement products may be mislabeled or contaminated with an undisclosed banned substance. Ultimately, student-athletes are responsible for any substance they put in their body. The use of supplements is at the student-athlete’s own risk.
The NCAA emphasizes that all student-athletes are responsible for reading a product’s label and consulting with the appropriate Sports Medicine staff representative to determine whether the product’s ingredients include an NCAA banned substance on the label. All Lehigh University Athletics Sports Medicine staff members are available to be used as a resource for questions regarding banned substances and medication.
The third press release just recently in April was concerning “Medical Exceptions and Banned Drug Classes.” The NCAA bans performance enhancing drugs to protect student-athletes health and safety and ensure a level playing field, and it also recognizes that some of these substances may be legitimately used as medications to treat student-athletes with learning disabilities and other medical conditions.
Accordingly, the NCAA allows exceptions to be made for those student–athletes with a documented medical history demonstrating the need for regular use of such a drug. The benefit of a medical exception procedure is that in most cases the student-athlete’s eligibility remains intact during the process.
Exceptions may be granted for substances included in the following classes of banned drugs: stimulants, beta blockers, diuretics, anti-estrogens, anabolic agents (steroids)*, and peptide hormones* (NCAA Bylaw 31.2.3) [*anabolic agents and peptide hormones must be approved by the NCAA before the athlete is allowed to participate while taking these medications.]
In all cases, a student-athlete, in conjunction with his or her physician, must document that other non-banned alternatives have been considered prior to requesting the medical exception for the use of a medication containing a banned substance.
AS A STUDENT-ATHLETE TO BE GRANTED A MEDICAL EXCEPTION FOR A MEDICATION THAT CONTAINS A BANNED SUSTANCE, THE STUDENT-ATHLETE MUST:
- Have declared the use of the substance to his or her Athletic Trainer for purpose of medical record;
- Present documentation of the diagnosis of the condition; and
- Provide documentation from the prescribing physician explaining the course of treatment and the current prescription.
*Requests for medical exceptions will be reviewed by physicians who are members of the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.
NOTE: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood and can persist through adolescence and into adulthood. The most common medications used to treat ADHD are methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderal), which is banned under the NCAA class of stimulates. If the student-athlete does not undergo a standard assessment to diagnose ADHD, they will not have met the requirements for an NCAA medical exception.
Please read carefully and submit proper documentation upon return to school speaking directly with an Athletic Trainer.
Director of Sports Medicine