Importance of Quality Science
Science First BSCG offers genuine insight, technical precision and solid judgment based on experience
Decisions about what substances to test for and how closely to examine them are key to learning if a dietary supplement contains problematic compounds that could be dangerous or lead to a positive drug test. No certification company in the world makes these decisions with greater care or insight than BSCG.
BSCG’s unique experience in pioneering sports anti-doping testing provides it with a solid scientific foundation from which to scrutinize a product and make the sometimes difficult calls involved in certifying it. At BSCG, science always comes first.
The importance of a top laboratory
Athletes and consumers might think that any laboratory can analyze a dietary supplement for the presence of pharmaceutical contamination or banned substances as well as the next. The truth is that detection of problematic compounds is a highly intricate science that should be carried out only by an organization experienced in toxicological investigation and doping detection methods and research. Only a laboratory experienced in analyzing biological specimens for dangerous substances can fully understand and evaluate the potential impact of a supplement.
BSCG is headed by the Catlins, who have unrivaled experience in running such labs, including the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, the first of its kind in the United States and the largest performance-enhancing testing facility in the world. BSCG’s laboratory is also ISO 17025-accredited and uses the most up-to-date and sophisticated testing instruments and equipment available, including mass spectrometers.
The most comprehensive testing menu for problematic substances
The list of dangerous and banned substances is a constantly evolving one, as competitors seek to use substances not being tested for and unscrupulous manufacturers move to cash in or prop up their products with less expensive yet often more dangerous compounds. These problematic substances, which may include anabolic steroids, stimulants and cannabinoids with beta 2 agonists and diuretics/masking agents, usually are not listed on the ingredients list.
BSCG casts the largest but also most thoughtfully directed net in the industry by targeting its testing to those substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) prohibited list that have been detected in use. By testing for compounds that are both the most current and most problematic, BSCG can detect the substances that are the real threats for responsible competitors. For consumers, BSCG adds a number of compounds it has determined could have deleterious health effects.*
The lowest detection limits
One of the most important aspects of a quality certification program is the sensitivity of its analysis method, otherwise known as the limits of detection. A method’s detection limit is the smallest concentration of a problematic substance that the method will be able to reveal. When even trace amounts of banned substances can cause an athlete to test positive or lead to serious health consequences for a consumer, the lowest possible detection limit becomes crucial for the efficacy of a dietary-supplement testing program.
The detection limits used in BSCG’s Elite Athletes & Professionals Program are the lowest in the industry—10 nanograms per gram for anabolic steroid agents and 10 nanograms per gram for stimulants. Athletes and consumers can rest assured that a product carrying BSCG’s seal has been tested with a method sensitive enough to reveal even the smallest concentrations of potentially dangerous and banned substances.
*Note to athletes: Athletes should only consume those dietary supplement products that are BSCG Certified Drug Free for Elite Athletes & Professionals. The Consumer Protection Program does not cover all substances tested for in the Elite Athletes & Professionals Program, and thus may not offer completedrug-testing protection to competitors.