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Bette_Midler
Aug 23rd, 2006, 11:45 PM
August 23, 2006

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- WTA Tour players will be provided with free vitamins and health supplements by a company that is offering up to $1 million to any player who fails an anti-doping test because of their products.

Under the three-year deal announced Wednesday, USANA Health Sciences is paying a six-figure sponsorship fee to become the women's tennis tour's official health supplement supplier, WTA spokesman Andrew Walker said.

"There's been a lot of bad news recently about athletes in other sports having tested positive for banned substances, and athletes are afraid to put anything in their body," Walker said. "This is something players have been demanding and asking for over the past years."

Since the WTA began testing for banned substances in 1990, two players have tested positive, according to Walker: Sesil Karatantcheva (the steroid nandrolone) and Lourdes Dominguez Lino (cocaine).

In 2003, the men's ATP Tour instructed its training and medical staff to stop issuing supplements that might have been contaminated. Eight players who tested positive for nandrolone were cleared after the possibility was raised they might have taken tainted supplements unwittingly given out by tour trainers.

The ATP now has a deal with a company that provides players with energy and recovery drinks, a carbohydrate gel and an energy bar.

Under the new WTA deal, players who take USANA's products will be eligible for an "athlete guarantee agreement." A player who tests positive for a banned substance because of USANA products will be paid twice her prize money from the prior year, up to $1 million, by the company.

"The Tour has for many years sought a manufacturer that could meet our tough standards in this essential area," WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott said. "Up until now, the inability of our players to take vitamins and health supplements without fear of accidentally ingesting a prohibited substance has been a real issue."

Updated on Wednesday, Aug 23, 2006 5:11 pm EDT

Bette_Midler
Aug 24th, 2006, 09:37 AM
Safe supplements for women's tour

Justin Henin-Hardenne has welcomed the news

Female tennis players will soon be able to take vitamins and supplements without fear of failing a drugs test.

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has signed a deal with Usana Health Sciences Inc to supply the tour with products guaranteed to be safe.

Since a spate of positive tests blamed on contaminated supplements tennis pros have been wary of taking them.

Justine Henin-Hardenne said: "I want to make sure whatever I put in my body is free of prohibited substances."

The French Open champion added: "Any assurances that players are able to receive from vitamin companies that their products are pure is really great."

Usana is a leading global vitamin and health supplement manufacturer.

It will guarantee that the products it supplies to the WTA Tour will not contain any substances which will fall foul of the World Anti-Doping Authority (Wada).

Each player who participates in the programme will be eligible to sign an "athlete guarantee agreement" with Usana.

Under the agreement the manufacturer will pay the player twice her prize money earnings from the prior year, up to $1m (530,000), should the player test positive for a substance prohibited by Wada because of using a Usana product.

"This is fantastic news for players," said WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott.

"Up until now, the inability of our players to take vitamins and health supplements without fear of accidentally ingesting a prohibited substance has been a real issue."

Nutritional supplements tested by a Wada-accredited laboratory and approved by men's tennis body the ATP have been available to male professionals since the beginning of 2005.



http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/5280242.stm

TheBoiledEgg
Aug 24th, 2006, 10:41 AM
the ATP supplied supplements to their players and alot of them were tested positive :tape:

now paying out $1M is asking for trouble :rolleyes:

tenn_ace
Aug 24th, 2006, 11:02 AM
well now vitamins are free.... great. I'm hoping my employer reads this article and follow this example will start providing me with shirts. I'm tired of buying news ones every three months. :rolleyes:

griffin
Aug 24th, 2006, 01:27 PM
the ATP supplied supplements to their players and alot of them were tested positive :tape:

now paying out $1M is asking for trouble :rolleyes:


:rolleyes: indeed - the player would have to prove it was because of USANA's products, and since they've already got wiggle room on the payout itself (actually 2x the previous year's prize money, maxing out at $1 mil), I'm willing to bet the deal is written to make that next to impossible.