INFORMED-SPORT is a certification programme for sports supplements, ingredients and manufacturing facilities, which assures athletes that products carrying the INFORMED-SPORT mark have been regularly tested for substances considered prohibited in sport. In addition, INFORMED-SPORT also ensures that products have been manufactured to high quality standards. Responsible supplement companies have made INFORMED-SPORT part of their existing quality assurance systems to ensure their products are safer for athletes to use.
Research has shown that some supplement products have been found to be contaminated with low levels of substances that are prohibited by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and other sporting bodies. The INFORMED-SPORT programme aims to work closely with supplement manufacturers and suppliers by reviewing the quality systems they have in place at the manufacturing facility and by providing high quality analytical testing for products/ingredients to minimise the incidence of banned contaminants finding their way into sport. It also aims to provide athletes with an effective risk management service so that they can choose products that have undergone additional quality control testing as required in elite sport.
The INFORMED-SPORT certification programme was established in 2008 by one of the world's leading sports doping control laboratories, HFL Sport Science. Although HFL has been testing supplements since 2002, it became clear that there was a need for a comprehensive certification programme which not only tested products for banned substances, but that also ensured that products were manufactured in accordance with good manufacturing practices.
The INFORMED-SPORT registration process requires both a manufacturing quality system audit and pre-registration product testing. A thorough review of quality assurance systems, raw materials and supply chain is carried out to ensure there is little risk of contamination in the finished product. This includes, but is not limited to:
Pre-registration product testing is also required prior to acceptance onto the INFORMED-SPORT programme. This includes testing of 5 samples from different production runs to establish a history of testing.
Only after the audit is satisfactory and the product testing has shown no contamination issues can the product be registered into the programme and carry the INFORMED-SPORT mark.
Once the product is registered, every single production run of that product is then tested prior to release for sale. This way, if a contamination issue does arise, it can be dealt with before it reaches the market. All tested batches of product are listed on this website, they can be found on the Registered Products page or by simply typing in the name of the supplement in the search bar marked "Find your supplement:".
Note: Some liquid products with a well established testing record may be considered for reduced rate testing in place of every batch testing. In such cases, INFORMED-SPORT make a thorough assessment of the product and will implement a regular testing schedule that maintains the high degree of testing assurance required by elite athletes.
In addition to testing each batch of product, INFORMED-SPORT will also purchase registered products randomly form retail outlets and test them for banned substances. This serves as an independent integrity check on the product and provides additional assurance to athletes.
For more detail on registration with INFORMED-SPORT click here.
HFL Sport Science is a world-renowned sports doping control and research laboratory, with over 50 years of expertise in anti-doping in sport. HFL has published over 300 scientific papers on methods for detection of trace levels of substances that are prohibited in sport and has over 450 man-years of research into doping control.
HFL has been testing supplements and ingredients on behalf of reputable manufacturers and suppliers for over 10 years. It has tested over 35,000 samples during this time, and has also carried out a number of research studies to explore the prevalence of contamination with prohibited substances in products and ingredients. HFL's research into supplements and contamination also includes several administration studies to investigate the levels of prohibited substances that could cause an athlete to fail a doping test. These have been published in peer reviewed scientific journals. Please use the Contact area for more information on HFL's research into supplements and contamination.
HFL's testing capability for supplements/ingredients includes the analysis of over 146 substances that are considered prohibited in sport and substances that pose a threat in respect of product contamination. These substances include drugs of abuse, anabolic agents, stimulants, beta-2-agonists, masking agents, etc.
Testing methods used for a range of substances from these categories have been validated and accredited to the ISO 17025 standard in supplements/ingredients, in each of the relevant matrices: powders, bars, liquids, capsules, tablets, etc., with defined method capabilities/reporting limits. HFL has held this accreditation since 2003, granted by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service).
For more details, go to Testing Specification