I’ve recently moved house in Cambridge, saying goodbye to my flat with Harry (shout out to Glenalmond times, what a 3 years!) and hello to a Cambridge terrace with new housemates Ol and Becky.

Between the 3 of us, I’d say we’re a pretty active bunch. Ollie has very recently signed up for Valencia marathon, which following knee surgery a couple of years ago is a 180 degree turn from him claiming he’s only allowed to run up to 3 miles for the first 6months of our friendship. Becky however puts us both to shame. Up at 5am to get to Ely for an early morning training session, followed by a different session in the evenings, rowing most definitely takes up a large percentage of her time.

But what I hadn’t ever witnessed before was the amount of time and effort Becky puts into the supplement side of her rowing life. Working for Opalbond, I’m very fortunate to have a large supply of white labelled supplements at my fingertips. All of the products that we supply go through a rigorous approval process of which one is production trial samples, which we then seek approval from the brand and check ourselves that the quality is to our approved standards. A consequence of this; I’m often caught carrying ominous plain white tubes containing various effervescent tablets, to fuel my runs correctly or keeping me topped up with vitamins post night out. Housemate benefits and all that, Ollie often finds himself trialling and testing new flavours and formulas, to ensure they work on a consumer level.  Becky however, can’t touch any of these samples. Her rowing for the Cambridge University Boat Race team means that she is responsible for every supplement she takes to be batch tested. Unfortunately for her, this means no obscure plain white tube samples – as they don’t carry the Informed Sport logo.

Becky’s level of resistance to these freebie samples is something I have found hugely admirable. She knows the effervescent tablets I work with are Informed Sport certified, yet will still not touch them as she wants to check the batch number through Informed Sport herself.

The reason for the slightly outrageous title is that it is becoming increasingly common for professional athletes to miss numerous drugs tests, or when they do then get caught, they give the excuse “oh but I didn’t know” . In my opinion, athletes should always be fully responsible for what they put into their body. And hiding behind nutritionists or supplement companies is not something they should be doing. I find it baffling that Becky can take something so seriously, yet some professional athletes don’t.

Opalbond work closely with Informed Sport and LGC to ensure that our productions are fully certified, with full traceability and certificate of analyses available for every production run. If you would like us to produce you an Informed Sport certified product, please get in touch at enquiries@opalbond.co.uk