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ATP players to get approved supplements

November 16, 2004 11:01 IST

The ATP, organisers of the men's tour, will unveil a partnership deal with a pharmaceutical giant on Tuesday to provide approved nutritional supplements to players next season.

The announcement will be welcome news for the players, who have been fearful of contaminated supplements following a spate of positive doping tests.

Representatives from GlaxoSmithKline, ATP officials and players will take part in the official announcement at the season-ending Masters Cup following Tuesday's release of a report by the ATP's anti-doping task force.

World number one Roger Federer said on Monday it was a positive step for the players but did not know if he would use any of the recommended products himself.

"I think it's positive news for the players," Federer told reporters following his round-robin win over French Open champion Gaston Gaudio.

"I don't know if I'm going to use that or not because I'm not using anything, but it's good to know for maybe some other players."


Concern over tainted supplements reached paranoid levels in the locker room last year after seven players, including Britain's Greg Rusedski, tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone.

Rusedski escaped punishment by successfully arguing that contaminated supplements supplied by the ATP were responsible for his failed test.

The ATP later conceded their supplements may have been to blame for the positive tests, which led to the formation of the task force to investigate the problem.

The new supplements will be produced according to U.S. FDA (Federal Drug Administration) regulations and tested for purity by GlaxoSmithKline before being placed in numbered batches.

These batches will then be tested by World Anti-Doping Agency-approved laboratories and offered to players on a secure website.

A small sample from each batch will be secured and stored in case a player returns a positive test, so it can be determined whether the supplement was tainted.

"At least we can rely on something and not always go our own way and not be sure until suddenly you have a positive test," said Federer.

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