International Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Analysis

Inadvertent doping with the use of herbal preparations: is it a reality?

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Author Details: Mahua Chakraborty, Sachin Dubey, Alka Beotra, Sarika, Jaspal S. Sandhu

Volume : 4

Issue : 1

Online ISSN : 2394-2797

Print ISSN : 2394-2789

Article First Page : 20

Article End Page : 23


The use of performance enhancing drugs in sports is prohibited by World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).(1) Herbal preparations are usually considered safe due to least side effects but may contain substances which are prohibited in sports. Athletes often take these preparations for therapeutic purpose without considering the risks of an inadvertent doping. A study on the screening of various labelled and unlabelled Indian Ayurvedic herbal preparations to identify the substance of abuse was conducted. A total of hundred and two labelled and sixteen unlabelled herbal Ayurvedic preparations used for different therapeutic indications were tested for screening of approximately one twenty drugs prohibited by WADA. Out of hundred and two labelled herbal preparations, sixteen showed presence of Strychnine. However, out of these sixteen herbal preparations, only four preparations declared presence of strychnine on the label. Strychnine is a stimulant which is prohibited by WADA during in competition testing. Out of sixteen unlabelled preparations, two showed presence of Nicotine. The study shows that the labelled/unlabelled herbal preparations may contain undeclared substances prohibited by WADA. The excretion study showed levels of strychnine above WADA Minimum Required Performance Levels (MRPL) thereby leading to positive dope test.

Keywords: Sports, Doping, WADA, Prohibited List, Herbal Preparations, Adulteration