Major League Baseball (MLB) 2013 spring training is well underway, and I'm basically obsessed with the Red Sox and baseball. Again. This happens every March, and I'm Sox-sick until September, at the earliest.
Yesterday I was reading all the news articles on RedSox.com while watching the
Bad Guys Yankees beat the Good Guys Sox in a preseason game, and I came across something that caught my eye. It was an interview with Red Sox star second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who expressed support for stiffer penalties for infractions of the league's ban on performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and other questionable supplements.
From the article:
"I know that we have one of the best drug-testing policies in sports," Pedroia said. "They give us packets on what supplements you can and can't take. You get an app on your cellphone, so we're educated on what supplements you can and can't take."
I'm always curious about how people I admire use their smartphone to enhance their lives, so I did some digging and discovered more details about the anti-PED app. The Android app is called NSF Certified for Sport and the iOS app, which is compatible with iPhones, iPod touch and iPads, is called just NSF for Sport. As far as I can tell, the free apps are only available for Android and iOS, though NSF International, "an independent public health organization that certifies a wide range of dietary supplements and nutritional products," also offers a website with the same information on supplements. The apps aren't new; the latest software updates came more than a year ago. But I'd never heard of them before.
It's common for athletes who've been caught using banned substance to play the "But-I-Didn't-Know-What-Was-in-That-Supplement" card, so an easy to use application that lets them vet supplements before actually taking them is a no brainer. It also gives MLB a card of their own to play: The "There's-an-App-for-That-So-You-Should've-Known" card.
Lots of MLB players in addition to Pedroia use the app, including Blue Jays super slugger Jose Bautista. And NSF International also vets supplements for the National Football League (NFL), Professional Golf Association (PGA), Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), according to CPSDA, a collegiate and professional sports dietitians association.