The overseeing agencies of every sport are constantly looking to keep the playing field level. Whether the reason is to keep an athlete from gaining an unfair advantage or to keep one from placing himself at risk, testing is being increasingly used to monitor what professional athletes are placing in their bodies.
The ethical line is blurry, as some athletes will only alter their diets and workout regimens while others are comfortable with approved supplements such as creatine and protein powders. Others have used steroids and human growth hormones and been caught in the act. But what about those who used them previously but are no longer actively enhancing their performance with them yet are still maintaining the benefits?
The reasons above are what makes this subject difficult to handle and sensitive to discuss. But the conversation is growing again as many super athletes are turning towards supplements such as NeuroFuse. NeuroFuse is the most popular product in the expanding field of nootropics, which are designed to enhance a person’s cognition. NeuroFuse is gaining attention due to its proprietary blend of ingredients, all legal and available over-the-counter herbal and laboratory-grade derivative supplements.
What’s obvious is that these new supplements wouldn’t be causing a stir if they didn’t work. What’s more is that they work well individually and exhibit synergistic benefits when used together in a blend such as with NeuroFuse. The various ingredients listed, such as Bacopa Monnieri, Rhodiola Rosea, Huperzine A, and other common supplements such as Vitamin D, B-Complex, and Caffiene provide benefits related entirely to the mind.
Why is this an issue for the sports agencies responsible for overseeing supplementation? NeuroFuse specifically boasts benefits such as:
When an athlete could wander into a wild field and pick these very same herbal ingredients and enjoy them with his or her dinner, it’s understandable that the potential regulation of nootropics like NeuroFuse is controversial. It’s not clear yet as to exactly why the focus has shifted to nootropics other than just being preemptively prepared.
It is understandable that being a member of a professional sports team is very demanding of time and energy. Nootropics can provide an edge to athletes off of the field during their down time. If one team is able to run their errands, participate in social activities, and dedicate more time to their family due to this new efficiency, is that an advantage that should even be considered by regulatory sports agencies or is that an invasion of privacy?
Are we to ban sports team members from taking courses in self-development and time management as well? A football player enhancing his cognitive abilities through the use of nootropic supplements may find he requires less time studying tapes and play books and therefore has more time to be on the field applying the practice of these plays. Are we to limit the amount of practice time each player is allowed to have? These are the types of questions that arise from this type of over-active regulation.
An onlooker could speculate that this type of behavior coming out of the regulatory commissions are one of self-preservation. If there is nothing to protect the industry from, then they no longer are needed and thus are out of their jobs.
As the individual states of the United States continue to give legal status to drugs that were previously scheduled at the highest and most dangerous level, such as marijuana, it is obvious that those in charge of these decisions are not always making them for pure and unselfish reasons. One only had to look at the obscene levels of punishment being doled out to athletes for having used substances that are metabolized and no longer affecting their cognition or performance, such as the recent situation with Nick Diaz where he received a five year suspension and fine of $150,000 for having tested positive for marijuana, a substance where you can now walk into a store, purchase it, go home, and enjoy it all without fear of legal intervention.
This is the same level of controversy that is anticipated in the coming months surrounding NeuroFuse. As was stated by Middlebrook, the defense attorney in the Diaz case:
“Respectfully, we disagree with your interpretation of the laws. And albeit, while you may be governed by your commission’s regulations, I believe the United States constitution and the Nevada state constitution trump those regulations. But proceed with your misinterpretation of the law.”
It is true that the governing bodies of any private endeavor should be able to write the rules and assert that they be abided by their athletes. When they go beyond common sense and even go against activities allowed to common citizens, intentions become suspicious and must be investigated. The phrase “Who is watching the watchers?” comes to mind, showing the need for reverse surveillance to protect athletes that find themselves caught in a situation of politics.
Merriam-Webster defines fairness as:
6a. marked by impartiality and honesty: free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism.
6b. conforming with the established rules
Any athlete taking advantage of NeuroFuse for the sake of his or her personal life outside of the sporting arena is abiding by the 6b definition. They are within the rules and guidelines. If the rules and guidelines change to affect their status of being fair, then the 6a definition is being broken by the regulatory agency, not by the athlete.
Two things are very clear: something is amiss in the governing bodies of our sports communities, and NeuroFuse and other nootropics must work and upset a balance. Whether that balance is one that extends to the sporting events is doubtful, and if it did, it seems very irresponsible to tell athletes that they cannot better their personal lives.