Jamie Ashdown has been a professional goalkeeper for more than 14 years, but this autumn he is likely to be known for more than just a pair of hands you can trust.
Having been in the football world for his entire adult life, Ashdown has seen his fair share of life inside professional athleticism. It is fair to say that he knows a thing or two about the supplements he uses to keep in shape, but it wasn’t always the case. The goalkeeper has launched new website Trusted Pro Supplements following the confusion and dangers that surround the supplement industry.
“Most professional athletes count taking supplements as part of their fitness routine” said Ashdown. “Supplements are such excellent tools in the search for improvement. As a youth team player it could have been me buying something off the shelf. But I was fed up of finding that something I was taking may have been cross contaminated and therefore may not be safe.”
The rise in drugs testing meant Ashdown, who has never tested positive for a drugs test, decided that enough was enough, and got in contact with the UK Anti-Doping agency. “It was clear that the information is out there, but unfortunately not enough, and in ways that are not always easy to understand.”
Following discussions with Informed Sport, the recognised body of testing of ingredients for all sports supplements, Ashdown felt that he could do the research to take the guess work out of choosing a supplement for so many athletes who may have questions or feel confused.
The dangers involved in taking supplements were highlighted when Ashdown heard about Claire Squires, who died on the final stretch of the London Marathon last year, following complications caused by DMAA, a now banned substance, in a supplement she had taken.
Incredibly, it is not a legal requirement that all products are registered and even those that are described as ‘batch tested’ do not offer the same safety those bearing the Informed Sport logo.
As well as selling only supplements registered with Informed Sport, Trusted Pro Supplements will be stocking fantastic supplement accessories imported from USA which are not stocked in the UK, and features a blog written by various experts including sports scientists, lecturers and experts in their fields.
The company is already supplying supplements to a number of players as well as Leeds United FC.
“It isn’t just about giving that information to other footballers in my team, or even only my sport. I think the people who need the most information are grass roots athletes, people who may be tested for drugs and may not have access to a sports scientist or an advisor to help guide them. It just isn’t worth the risk, and even just looking at websites, one manufacturer may have only one product registered with Informed Sport. It is too easy to think every product that they manufacture is definitely safe.”
Overall, the goal is clear: “If I can make a difference to the way a handful of people choose and use supplements, I will have done what I have set out to do. But the ultimate goal is challenging the way the entire industry functions!”
Ashdown has already put his face in the frame for good causes. He was the leading footballer in raising awareness of players supporting the Portsmouth Football Club buyout by the Supporter’s Club last year, and next year will row the Channel with a team from Leeds United Football Club in memory of ex-physio Bruce Craven who died of skin cancer, to raise money for Melanoma cancer research.
For further information please contact Zoe Ashdown at firstname.lastname@example.org