Keeping It Clean

By Josh Everett

In Competition

March 18, 2011

PDF Article

Strength and conditioning coach Josh Everett offers up his advice for any athletes who plan to compete in competitions with drug testing.

The overwhelming majority of the CrossFit community supports and wants drug testing of the athletes who participate in the CrossFit Games, but what does this really mean for our athletes? And how do CrossFitters prepare for any other events where drug testing is in place?

Having worked about a dozen years as a strength and conditioning coach at the NCAA Division 1 level, I became very familiar with the drug tests, the banned-substance list and the strategies for avoiding accidentally consuming a banned substance. At the universities I worked for, our student athletes were subject to random testing for street and performance-enhancing drugs two to three times a year. In addition to those random tests, NCAA athletes are also tested at NCAA championship events should they or their team make it that far.

At the collegiate level, there is a continual education and awareness campaign for the student athletes regarding supplements and drug testing. I’m going to share some of these strategies and some ideas of my own that will help CrossFitters avoid consuming a banned substance and having an embarrassing positive test that could cost placement, prize money, sponsorships, etc.

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13 Comments on “Keeping It Clean”


Bryan Ragon wrote …

Good article. In the spirit of the openness of the CrossFit Games Open, however, should this article be made free to non-subscribers? (Granted yes, I know, $25/year isn't much. I'm a subscriber.)


wrote …

Great article Josh, I keep telling athletes about this kind of stuff and now that the Games has started anyone that is serious about it should be careful of anything!


wrote …

Will drug testing be provided at this years finals? I would hope so, if not, does coach plan on implementing in the near future?


replied to comment from Cedric Fierro

Cedric, not to be a jerk, but did you read the article? It made at least three references to testing, even showing a caption that stated the CrossFit Games started testing in 2009. Key takeaway from the article: "CrossFit athletes generally run into drug testing at the CrossFit Games, but the CrossFit Performance-Enhancing and Banned Substances Testing Program states athletes can be tested at any time." I was not aware that the CFNE Crew lost the Affiliate Cup due to a failed drug test. How many NCAA athletes have lost All-American status because they though their supplement was legal? Great information Josh.


wrote …

If you are curious about what you are taking/or want to take, go here:
password ncaa1, ncaa2 or ncaa3

The above link is provided through this page:

This is a site that allows free login and provides a search engine returning results on substances that are banned and those that are not.

Free and easy to access.



Thanks Jeremy!


Mike Kesthely wrote …

Perhaps it's my early morning lack of caffeine, but could someone shed some light on, or clarify, the point that caffeine is banned? While the Crossfit document is a carbon copy of the NCAA one, is this just for caffeine from guarana, a certain mg free-form quantity, or could a cup of coffee potentially cost someone a placing?


replied to comment from Mike Kesthely

Caffeine is considered illegal if it is ingested in quantities that would cause urine conc to exceed 15 mcg/ml (NCAA) or 12 mcg/ml (IOC). That would take > 9 mg/kg bodyweight about 1 - 1.5 hours prior to competition to approach the 12 mcg/ml limit or about 5 - 6 regular sized cups of drip percolated coffee.

Caffeine reduces the perception of fatigue, increases glycogen oxidation during exercise and can enhance short-term high intensity performance lasting around 5 min and also longer bouts of endurance exercise.

Recent studies show that it can enhance glycogen resynthesis at doses of about 8 mg/kg when added to post wo CHO drinks (4 g/kg CHO). Half-life varies but from 5 -11 hrs depending on the person and condition, so if a competitor is using it for both performance enhancement and glycogen resynthesis for repeated days of competition, they could exceed the IOC or NCAA limit.

Otherwise enough to reduce fatigue 5 - 9 g/kg is unlikely to top the legal limit for a single event.


replied to comment from Mark Myhal

That's 5 - 9 mg/kg, NOT 5 - 9 g/kg.


wrote …

And never use anything that has a secret/proprietary blend. Australia had 9 athletes test positive last year who traced back to a popular pre-workout supplement.


Thanks Mark, much appreciated!


wrote …

Does anyone know how creatine fits in this picture? I am a high school coach and I know that it is banned in most high school leagues. I thought it was banned in the NCAA, but this document doesn't seem to suggest that.


replied to comment from Mark Schwarz

Creatine is a naturally occuring substance, not sure how it could be banned? Are you sure that thats not just a rumor?

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