Clean Sport Initiative

Clean Sport Initiative

March 19, 2009 07:00 ET

Banned Athlete Speaks Out

RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 19, 2009) - Banned athlete Serge Despres is speaking out to protect other athletes' careers and reputations.

Despres piloted Canada's bobsleigh team at the Torino Olympics in 2006 but was banned from sport competition after accidentally testing positive for steroid use in 2007. He'll be one of four speakers who will expose the hidden risks of accidental doping and its impact on athletes' careers during the launch of The Clean Sport Initiative, a program sponsored by Platinum Naturals, a Richmond Hill-based nutraceutical company. The launch will be held at the Rogers Centre on March 31 from 10:30am to 12noon.

Despres will reveal how easily an athlete can unknowingly ingest banned substances that may be present in uncertified supplements. He'll use his story to show how quickly and easily athletes can go from hero to outcast, even though they follow the rules to the best of their knowledge. He'll also share the frustration and devastation of having his career and reputation damaged by uncertified supplements.

Accidental doping has become an ongoing issue for every athlete who competes at elite levels. While most play clean being careful in what they ingest, the ongoing threat of testing positive stalks athletes who have devoted their lives to their sport and their dreams of becoming world champions. Although many supplements are beneficial, even minute amounts of banned substances in uncertified supplements can show up in a drug test with disastrous results.

Joining Despres in the discussion will be representatives of NSF International and the Canadian Ski Cross team which is being vigilant to ensure that accidental doping does not derail a skier, for whom the risk of doping is a major issue as they prepare to make their debut as a full medal sport at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The panel will be moderated by CBC sportscaster Scott Russell.

The Clean Sport Initiative aims to raise awareness of accidental doping risks and to encourage athletes to choose supplements that are certified banned-substance-free by NSF International. At the moment, Platinum Naturals' Activ-X sport multivitamin is the only multivitamin in Canada that is certified by NSF's Certified for Sport™ program.

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