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Resource Exchange Center helps demystify supplement environment: Created a decade ago, the REC’s sole purpose is to help coaches, athletic trainers and other athletics department personnel, student-athletes, and parents pass safely through the minefield of dietary supplements and other drugs, including over-the-counter medicines and prescription medication. Read the story

REC provides multiple benefits for NCAA membership: Use of the REC, a database of information about performance-enhancing drugs and supplements, has nearly doubled over the past three years, from 6,575 inquiries in 2007 to 11,339 in 2009. While use in Divisions II and III is increasing, about 60 percent of REC usage is in Division I. Read the story

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Publish date: Mar 23, 2011

DI to require designated responder for banned-drug questions

Division I institutions will be required effective Aug. 1 to designate a staff member to answer student-athlete and staff questions about dietary supplements and NCAA banned drugs.

Proposal No. 2010-8, which amends Constitution 3.2.4.7, also obligates institutions to educate athletics department staff members who have regular interaction with student-athletes about the NCAA list of banned drug classes and to advise them that any nutritional supplement use may endanger a student-athlete’s health and eligibility.

To assist in this effort, the NCAA subscribes to the Resource Exchange Center, a service of the National Center for Drug Free Sport, the NCAA’s third party drug-testing administrator. The service provides both a toll-free number and website for NCAA student-athletes and athletics administrators to contact with questions about medications, supplements and NCAA banned drugs.

When student-athletes sign the NCAA drug-testing consent form, they are warned that dietary supplements are not well regulated, may contain NCAA banned substances and are taken at the student-athletes’ own risk. Student-athletes are encouraged to check with their designated staff member before consuming any substance other than food.

“The safest approach for student-athlete health and eligibility would be to avoid the use of unregulated dietary supplements,” said Mary Wilfert, NCAA associate director for health and safety. “We encourage institutions to support this approach since there is no way to guarantee purity and safety of any supplement product.”