Tech Athletic Department Admits Use of Banned Nutritional Supplements - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/28/05

Tech Athletic Department Admits Use of Banned Nutritional Supplements

In a recent report to the NCAA, Texas Tech officials said banned nutritional supplements were purchased with University funds by former sports nutrition director, Aaron Shelley, who has since been fired. NewsChannel 11 obtained a copy of the report and talked to NCAA officials who say it's now up to NCAA enforcement staff and the NCAA committee on infractions to decide what's next.

Associate Director of Public and Media Relations, Kent Barrett says they'll look at Tech's report and decide whether or not a more thorough investigation is needed. He says, "There's got to be reasonable cause for us to even begin an investigation."

Barrett tells NewsChannel 11, sometimes an institution's self report is considered sufficient and no further investigation is needed. Texas Tech's report comes clean and provides a list of 15 banned supplements school officials say Aaron Shelley purchased over a 30 month period. They include supplements containing Ephedra, but whether or not student athletes used banned items remains unclear. The report states: "It is unknown as to what products were provided to student athletes and to how many. The only items these individuals recall being provided free of charge were the energy bars, protein powders and Nitroquick Recovery Drink."

If the NCAA infractions committee does decide to investigate, there's no telling how long that process will take. Barrett says, "It just really depends on the details of the case and how forthcoming people who are part of case are with information. We won't even confirm an investigation exists until it's complete and we're ready to render a decision and that's done for the protection of the institution and student athletes."

Texas Tech's letter to the NCAA does say, "A new process for approving the purchase and use of nutritional supplements has been implemented and there have been no impermissible purchases since that time. The University feels confident that its new procedures will insure future transgressions of this type will not occur." NCAA headquarters tell NewsChannel 11 it's hard to say what if any penalties the university might face. That's determined on a case by case basis. Their by-laws specify penalties that range from public reprimand, to probation and fines, to restrictions on play and recruitment.

Supplements are banned to begin with because some of them stimulate the central nervous system and cause an increased heart rate and blood pressure which can be dangerous especially when exercising. It increases the risk of heart attack and heat illness, etc.

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