The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is holding the inaugural National Summit on Medications and Supplements in Sport in Canberra.
The Australian Sports Commission CEO Simon Hollingsworth said the invitation-only summit, being held over two days starting yesterday, will bring together national sporting organisations and state institutes and academies of sport to provide information on the AIS Sports Science and Sports Medicine Best Practice Principles.
‘As Australia’s largest employer of sports scientists, the AIS is committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity across the sporting sector,’ he said.
‘There has been a lot of debate recently around this area so it is timely that the AIS facilitate an exchange of ideas on appropriate policy settings for medications and supplements in sport.’
The summit will feature experts in the field including AIS chief medical officer David Hughes and head of nutrition Louise Burke, who oversaw pioneering work in the classification of supplements more than a decade ago at the AIS.
Dr Hughes said the summit will provide a unique opportunity to work together to develop a policy framework that ensures athlete safety and preserves the integrity of sport.
‘My focus will be to present the policies and principles we developed at the AIS around medications and facilitate some discussion on how they might fit in with a framework for sports,’ he said. ‘We are also seeking feedback on how other sporting organisations are approaching this subject.’
Professor Burke said there has been some confusion about the difference between medications and nutritional supplements and the positive benefits of good nutrition for athletes were sometimes lost in the discussion.
‘A good base around the legal, ethical and effective use of supplements is already in place so sports do not necessarily need to start from scratch to develop their own policies and procedures in regard to the use of supplements,’ she said.