ARU & RUPA Release Strict Sports Supplement Policy

The ARU & RUPA have released a Sports Supplement Policy developed to ensure 'Rugby maintains elite standards and policies in supplement regulation'

The ARU & RUPA have released a Sports Supplement Policy developed to ensure that
‘Rugby maintains elite standards and policies in supplement regulation’

ARU Media Release –

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has today released its new Sports Supplement Policy ahead of Australia’s opening round of matches in the 2014 Asteron Life Super Rugby competition.

The policy, created in conjunction with the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA), has been developed to ensure Rugby maintains elite standards and policies in supplement regulation and applies to the Qantas Wallabies; Super Rugby; and all Australian national teams effective immediately.

The implementation of strict measures around supplement usage will see the establishment of the ARU Supplement Advisory Group and also ensure that all Australian national teams and Super Rugby clubs appoint a fully qualified and accredited Team Sports Dietitian, who will be responsible for overseeing the provision of supplements at the club.

In another significant advancement, players must also now receive prior consent from their Team Sports Dietitian and written approval from the ARU Supplement Advisory Group for usage of any supplement which has not been pre-approved.

Improved player education is another key pillar of the new policy with the creation of Rugby’s first-ever supplements classification table, guided by information from the Australian Institute of Sport.

The table will provide players with the necessary information in order to make informed decisions by detailing the proven benefits and risks associated with specific supplements, including those which provide a ‘drugs in sport’ risk and also those which offer a risk to their health and performance.

ARU CEO, Bill Pulver, said the implementation of the new policy was crucial to maintaining the highest levels of integrity in Rugby.

“Australian Rugby remains committed to introducing ‘best practice’ across all parts of our business so we’re pleased to be launching our Sports Supplement Policy in the lead-up to the 2014 Asteron Life Super Rugby competition,” Mr Pulver said.

“Safeguarding our code remains of the utmost importance and the new policy will not only protect Rugby but all players and staff involved in a high-performance environment.

“Australian Rugby also thanks RUPA for its cooperation and assistance in the creation of the Sports Supplement Policy.”

RUPA CEO, Greg Harris, said, “RUPA has supported the introduction of this Policy in the best interests of protecting the health and welfare of all professional players.”

Key features in the ARU Sports Supplement Policy include:

* Creation of the ARU Supplements Advisory Group, including an independent representative and RUPA representative, to oversee and regulate supplement programs within the ARU and each Super Rugby club;

* The ARU and all Super Rugby clubs must appoint a Team Sports Dietitian to run and oversee supplement programs.  The Dietitian must be fully qualified and also accredited by the Dietitians Association of Australia and Sports Dietitians Australia;

* Improved player education through the creation of a Rugby Supplement Classification Table, which is guided by information from the Australian Institute of Sport; 

* Any supplement that is provided to a player by the ARU or a Super Rugby club must have been pre-approved by the Supplement Advisory Group;

* No player may use a supplement, other than sports foods, without prior approval from their Team Sports Dietitian, the Supplement Advisory Group and in some cases, their Team Doctor;

* The ARU and Super Rugby clubs must submit for approval an annual Supplement Provision Plan to the ARU Supplements Advisory Group, which will then govern the supplements that can be provided to the team or sourced by players from third party providers;

* Creation of a centrally-documented system detailing supplement usage by clubs and players.