Dietary supplements - unlike pharmaceuticals - do not go through an official approval process. This means, that no regulatory authority checks the accuracy of the label or the safety of the contents before they are sold to athletes.
Cologne List® is an international quality management program that uses independent product controls to minimize the risk of including banned or doping-relevant substances in dietary supplements.
Cologne List® provides orientation and greater safety for test pool athletes, as well as recreational and amateur athletes.
Foremost dietary supplements are listed on Cologne List®, but also other sports-related nutritional products such as sports drinks, muesli bars, bread baking mixes, etc..
The label check of the original product packaging and an analysis for anabolic steroids and stimulants at the Center for Preventive Doping Research at the German Sport University Cologne (CePreDo) at least once a year must be passed without complaints.
In addition, the company provides information on the risk of contamination in a self-disclosure and contractually undertakes to refrain from misleading advertising (e.g. doping-free, etc.).
Companies produce products from which athletes expect added value. In the process, substances that are on the WADA Prohibited List or the WADA Monitoring List may be used - mostly out of ignorance. But there are also manufacturers who deliberately conceal doping substances with fantasy names so that only proven experts can recognize them.
The multitude of ever new product ideas aggravates the problem. Therefore, the label check by specialists at CePreDo is enormously important as a basic control.
From an analytical point of view, there can be no safe products, as no laboratory can test for all substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA. The focus in the analysis is on anabolic-androgenic steroids and stimulants, as according to previous studies these substances were responsible for most contaminated and counterfeited dietary supplements. However, the continuously developed screening program also detects other banned substances.
Therefore, the publication of a product on Cologne List® does not mean that a product is basically free of doping substances. It does mean, however, that the product has been independently controlled and thus the risk of doping is significantly minimized.
In principle, products that have passed the label check and undergo regular laboratory analyses by a recognized anti-doping program such as Cologne List® have a significantly reduced risk of containing prohibited substances.
These products have probably not been tested independently for any doping risk. Cologne List® cannot provide any information on these products.
No, only manufacturers can have their own products tested at the Center for Preventive Doping Research at the German Sport University Cologne.