Principles, ethics and being drug free in sport

27 Oct 2017

“If someone says ‘take this pill, it will make you faster and stronger’ – what will you do?”

This was one of the questions put to College sportsmen at an interactive presentation and workshop by facilitator Leanne Mason of Drug Free Sport New Zealand.

“What are values? Are they important? Can people’s values differ in sport compared to real life? What is strict liability? Are rules important? What is cheating?”

The questions brought lively responses from an engaged audience, with the hour-long session covering everything from the principles, standards and beliefs which guide behaviour, to cheating, integrity, and good food choices for athletes.

Leanne outlined a list of foods which provide athletes with the most amount of protein for the smallest cost (chicken breast was the clear winner), and discussed the riskiness of taking supplements because of cross contamination, intentional lacing, mislabelling of products, and unregulated manufacturing processes.

No supplements are approved by WADA or Drug Free Sport NZ, she said.

“It’s your responsibility to make sure that everything you take is clean. Get your nutrients through natural food – it is too risky to do otherwise, and you could ruin your career.”

She invited the boys to email Drug Free Sport if they wanted a product to be identified as low, medium or high risk.

If you’re an elite sportsperson, care is also required around taking medications, with some medications not able to be taken without an exemption from DFSNZ. Case studies helped illustrate the message, including one involving use of another person’s prescription medications (Don’t!).

Leanne finished her presentation with a candid description of how drug testing is carried out - with DFNZ staff able to come to your home to take a specimen.