Sooner or later natural bodybuilding organizations are going to have to agree on “something.” But what? It seems only logical that a common banned substance list would be the best place to start, but they can’t even agree on that. But, maybe – just maybe – they might be getting closer to being on the same page.
The hang-up seems to be whether the organizations should uniformly accept the internationally-recognized and respected banned substance list of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) or use a banned substance list based on their own individual criteria.
Why WADA? With headquarters in Montreal, Canada, WADA was formally established in 1999 as an independent, impartial, objective, equitable, and balanced international agency to coordinate the anti-drug policies for sports worldwide in conjunction with five international standards including testing, laboratories, Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), and the protection and privacy of personal information. It was founded specifically to address in a unified manner the “problems that previously arose from disjointed and uncoordinated anti-doping efforts, including, among others: a scarcity and splintering of resources required to conduct research and testing; a lack of knowledge about specific substances and procedures being used and to what degree; and an inconsistent approach to sanctions for those athletes found guilty of doping” – all of which problems currently plague the sport of natural bodybuilding because of its endless fragmentation into multiple different organizations, each claiming to represent the sport and each claiming to have the best athletes, the best testing, the best prize money, the best venues, the best policies, the best awards, the best leadership, the best…well, you get the message.
Currently, some organizations comply strictly with the WADA banned substance list in its entirety. Others claim to follow the WADA guidelines but allow exceptions based on what “they” believe should not apply to their sport. (How that qualifies as following WADA guidelines, I don’t know). Still others don’t claim to adhere to WADA guidelines at all and defend their tolerance of certain substances banned by WADA based on their own pseudo “experts” who pretend to know more than the WADA team of international scientists who have been doing this for a very long time.
The banned substance lists used by those organizations that provide for exceptions are largely based on WADA standards anyway, so why is it so difficult to compromise and simply accept the WADA banned substance list “as is” without exceptions? Virtually every other sport in the world from skeet to synchronized swimming accepts the list without exception even though each sport might well have an argument for an exception of its own. It is called compromise for the good of each sport and, indeed, for the good of all by creating a level playing field across the board without exceptions.
Why is it so important for certain natural bodybuilding organizations to so vigorously defend their exceptions to the WADA banned substance list at the expense of dividing the sport? If those exceptions are truly not relative to bodybuilding, then what should it matter if they are banned? Is it just a matter of principal (no one is going to tell me what to do) or might these “exceptions” surreptitiously serve as enhancements to give the athletes in their organization to an edge and attract more fans and/or competitors? Or, could they be afraid of losing nutritional sponsors that market these substances in their products?
Despite the protestations and pseudo-scientific blathering of some natural bodybuilding and nutritional company “experts” that these particular substances do not enhance or in any way benefit natural athletes, WADA does not include them on their banned substance list without good research and without good reason. Which experts are you going to believe? Those who have a vested interest in these substances or one that is totally impartial? And, let’s be honest – if these substances didn’t work, the athletes wouldn’t use them. That should tell you something.
WADA is most-respected drug testing organization in the WORLD for performance-enhancing drugs. It is the “gold standard,” and its banned substance list is updated every year to keep up with the latest science and technology. Why reinvent the wheel? It’s time for all of the top organizations to accept the WADA banned substance list once and for all. Not just the parts they like. If not why not? Natural athletes deserve to know the truth – not the spin.