NSF International Partners with Taylor Hooton Foundation to Raise Awareness of the Dangers of Performance Enhancing Drugs Among Young Athletes

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and FRISCO, Tex - NSF International, a global public health and safety organization, has formed a partnership with the Taylor Hooton Foundation, an anti-steroid foundation, to help protect young athletes from the dangers of performance enhancing drugs. As part of the partnership, NSF International is developing educational resources for the Foundation to use to educate students at seminars and high school presentations.

These resources include www.nsfsport.com, a website NSF launched last year to provide educational information and news on sports nutrition to athletes. The website includes a searchable database of NSF-certified sports nutrition products that have been screened for athletic banned substances.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation for Fighting Steroid Abuse is a non-profit corporation created in memory of Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year old student athlete who died in 2003 as a result of anabolic steroid use. Together, NSF International and the Taylor Hooton Foundation will help educate amateur athletes, their parents and coaches about the dangers of performance enhancing drug use, including those potentially found in unmarked, untested and non-certified dietary supplements.

In 2002, The International Olympic Committee (IOC) tested 240 over-the-counter sports nutrition products and found that 18 percent contained banned substances such as anabolic androgenic steroids that were not listed on the product's label.

"Over-the-counter sports supplements like those tested by the IOC are available everywhere and can be purchased by anyone. The best way to protect young athletes is to educate them on the dangers of steroids and steroid-like substances and point them to sport nutrition products that have been tested and certified to be free of these substances," said Don Hooton, President of the Taylor Hooton Foundation.

NSF International developed an Athletic Banned Substances Certification program (Certified for Sport™) in 2004 in response to the growing demands by athletes, coaches, team owners and others concerned about banned substances in sports nutrition products.  The Certified for Sport™ program verifies that what is on the label is in the bottle and that the product does not contain undeclared ingredients or unacceptable levels of contaminants. The certification program also includes screening for over 140 banned or prohibited substances, a toxicology review to verify product formulation and marketing claims, and manufacturing facility inspections to ensure the products are produced in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).  Ongoing monitoring via periodic auditing and testing verifies continued compliance with these requirements.

"NSF developed the Certified for Sport program as part of our ongoing mission to protect human health. We were concerned about the widespread availability of banned substances and other performance-enhancing drugs marketed and sold as supplements on the Internet and elsewhere. Our partnership with the Taylor Hooton Foundation allows us to educate high school students, parents and coaches about the risks involved in taking these substances," said Ed Wyszumiala, General Manager of the NSF International Dietary Supplement Certification programs.

Major League Baseball (MLB), the primary sponsor of The Taylor Hooton Foundation, uses the NSF Certified for Sport™ Program to certify the products their athletes use.  The NFL, the NFL Player's Association, PGA, LPGA and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) all have chosen NSF's Certified for Sport™ program to help verify the products their athletes use are free of banned substances.

To schedule an interview with Ed Wyszumiala or for additional information on the NSF International/Taylor Hooton Foundation partnership, contact Greta Houlahan at 734.913.5723 or houlahan@nsf.org. You also may visit NSF's website for more information on the NSF Certified for Sport Program.

About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF's Dietary Supplement Certification program verifies that what is on the label is in the bottle and that the product does not contain undeclared ingredients or contaminants. NSF's Athletic Banned Substances Certification program builds on the dietary supplement certification program by including screening that ensures the product does not contain banned or prohibited substances. MLB, the MLB Player's Association, NFL, the NFL Player's Association, PGA, LPGA and the CCES have all chosen NSF's Certified for Sportâ„¢ program to help verify the products their athletes use are safer and free of banned substances.


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