“Anything with added protein needs to be batch tested according to our policy, irrespective of brand. It means it is now a supplement and falls under our policy if it had a supplement [protein powder] added.
“That’s the same with lots of products that have protein or other supplements added because we don’t know the source of the supplement. Cereals are low risk but still need to be careful.”
Typical breakfast cereals are fine but those that spruik added protein must be double checked.
“It’s only some cereals that have added protein. They advertise it on the box because it’s a marketing point,” Kountouris said.
In the CA document, players are warned that a “number of off-the-shelf products containing added protein substances is increasing, including sports foods”.
“These can include, but are not limited to: cereal and other breakfast bars, breakfast cereals and ready-to-go drinks. It is important that players check the ingredient list of products before purchasing. If a product does contain added protein substance (including protein concentrates and blends) the player should provide details to his/her sports dietitian before purchasing or consuming.
“The sports dietitian must ascertain the origin of the protein powder and the degree of risk for an anti-doping violation before advising the player.”
Kountouris said players had access to protein supplements from CA that had been approved.
The policy also urges players to be wary of smoothies and shakes.
“Only ‘real food’ ingredients should be used. The following should be avoided: protein powders, herbal ingredients and ingredients claiming to add extra energy, vitality, clarity or similar,” the policy says.
CA dietitians are required to check if supplements given to players through a third-party have been tested and certified but that is no guarantee they are WADA compliant. This check is “designed to test for a specific range of common contaminants from the WADA Prohibited Substances List and will, in turn, minimise the risk of anti-doping rule violations under the ICC or CA Anti-Doping Codes. To avoid doubt, these third-party auditing programs are only a way of mitigating risk and do not remove the risk of an anti-doping rule violation completely.”
Players have been warned to not be sucked in by marketing spiel.
“Supplement recommendations should not be based on brand or marketing, but should be assessed on the product ingredient list, third party auditing, origin of manufacture, and alignment to individual player goals and assessments,” the document said.
Jon Pierik is cricket writer for The Age. He also covers AFL and has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.