The Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC) hosted Jeff Novitzky, Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), on April 14 for a luncheon and briefing for lawmakers and staff on Capitol Hill. Mr. Novitzky is the chief architect and enforcer of UFC's anti-doping and performance enhancing drugs program.
During the briefing, Mr. Novitsky indicated that most professional athletes take dietary supplements because they do not get the nutrients they need from food alone. He also pointed out that some irresponsible companies sell tainted products, harming the reputation of the industry as a whole.
The natural products and dietary supplement industries share Mr. Novitzky's goals of educating athletes at all levels of competition on how to use supplements as part of a healthy lifestyle. Mr. Novitzky's comments are in-line with manufacturers' commitment to eliminating harmful and illegal ingredients that masquerade as supplements. The industry's collective goal is to ensure that consumers have confidence in knowing that the products they are using are safe, legal and accurately labeled.
Since being hired by the UFC in 2015, Mr. Novitzky has crafted and implemented the strictest drug- testing program in professional sports conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. As a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Novitzky led high- profile investigations into suspected steroid use by Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, Lance Armstrong and many others. While his experience in combating the use of performance enhancing drugs has garnered the most attention, Mr. Novitzky also advocates a range of issues related to the welfare of more than 500 UFC competitors across the globe.
DSC educational briefings are held throughout the year, featuring nationally-recognized authors, lecturers or authorities on health and wellness, who provide tips and insight for better nutrition, including how dietary supplements can contribute to a healthier lifestyle. These briefings also help to educate congressional staff about constituent access to safe and beneficial dietary supplements and legislative and regulatory issues associated with these products. In addition, DSC members receive regular updates on developments in the dietary supplement arena.