November 2010: The Irish Sports Council Issues Advisory Notice to Athletes

The Irish Sports Council advises athletes to carefully consider their use of supplements following a number of positive test results for the prohibited stimulant methylhexaneamine. Methylhexaneamine has been the subject of a number of recent international doping cases, notably the case of two members of the South African rugby squad who competed recently in Dublin.

In many of the cases the athletes involved have reported that they unknowingly ingested the banned substance when using supplements or other products. The significant number of positive test results over the past 12 months is a reminder to all athletes to exercise caution in checking the contents of supplements and other products they choose to use. They must also remember that the substance may not be listed on the label of the supplement.

Dr Brendan Buckley, Chairman of the Anti-Doping Committee said: "The Irish Sports Council has a policy against the use of nutritional and other supplements. There are a number for reasons for this policy including the risk of an inadvertent positive test result. We realize that many athletes choose to take supplements but in doing so they must understand the risks involved".

Methylhexaneamine is classed as an S6 stimulant on the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List and is prohibited in-competition. Bans involving this substance can range up to two-years. Methylhexaneamine is increasingly being found in nutritional supplements, typically those that are designed to increase energy or aid weight loss.

Dr Una May, Director of the Anti-Doping Unit of the Irish Sports Council added "The Irish Sports Council would like to warn the sports community to be vigilant for any supplement or product containing methylhexaneamine. It is a banned substance and, if detected, can result in a sanction. Under the World Anti-Doping Code's policy of strict liability, athletes are responsible for any substance found in their body."

There is a risk that supplements could contain this or other prohibited substances even if the ingredients listed on the label do not appear on the World Anti-Doping Code's Prohibited List. Some prohibited substances are referred to on supplement labelling by different names. Methylhexaneamine, for instance, is referred to by a number of alternative names including 1,3-dimethylamylamine, dimethylamylamine, dimethylpentylamine, DMAA, forthan, forthane, floradrene, geranamine and geranium oil.