Vitamins and pills

Many athletes experience medication-related problems involving over-the-counter (OTC) and prescribed medications. The necessity for a pharmacist intervention with athletes is crucial because of the detrimental effects inappropriate drug use can have on the health, athleticism, and financial success of the athletes.  ​


In August 2020, defensive tackle Mike Pennel of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs was suspended for the first 2 games of the season for violating the league's drug policy. Pennel tested positive for a performance enhancing drug (PED). Pennel apologized to his family, friends, teammates, coaches, the Chiefs organization and the fans. Pennel stated he was completely unaware of how this occurred but he takes full responsibility for what goes into his body. "I promise to be more vigilant moving forward. I am truly sorry and ask for your grace and forgiveness." Pennel forfeited over $123,000 due to his suspension. ESP will keep you informed of the risks associated with any drug you consume.

In August 2020, MLB announced that a Houston Astros pitcher, Kent Emanuel, would be suspended 80 games after testing positive for the banned substance Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), which is a performance enhancing drug (PED). Emanuel has yet to make his Major League debut but was on Houston’s 40-man roster. He spent the 2019 season with Houston’s Triple-A club. Kent claims that he does not know how the metabolite of DHCMT got into his system, adding that he’s never knowingly taken the substance in question. Emanuel is appealing his suspension. ESP will review with you any drugs you are considering and inform you of the risks and benefits of each chemical.

In October 2019, the NBA announced that Phoenix Suns center, Deandre Ayton, was suspended 25 games after he tested positive for a diuretic. Ayton said in a statement, “I want to apologize to my family, the entire Suns organization, my teammates, partners, our fans, and the Phoenix community. This was an unintentional mistake and unfortunately, I put something in my body that I was completely unaware of. I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that I am deeply sorry. I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down.” League rules dictate that any player testing positive for a diuretic, which can potentially mask a drug test’s results, shall be deemed to have tested positive for a steroid or performance-enhancing drug and shall suffer the applicable consequences. Given that his suspension was without pay, Ayton forfeited more than $2.1 million. ESP will advise you on drug therapy before you take it to avoid incidents such as this. 

The U.S. swimmer, Ryan Lochte, was banned from competition until July 2019 for receiving an intravenous (IV) infusion of permitted substances. The investigation found that Lochte had more than the permitted 100 ml in a 12-hour period. IV infusions or injections in a volume greater than 100 ml within a 12-hour period are prohibited at all times, except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment, surgical procedures, or clinical diagnostic investigations under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing, the United States Olympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policies, and the Fédération Internationale de Natation Anti-Doping Rules, all of which have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. Lochte received a 14-month suspension retroactive to May 24, 2018, the date of the social media post of him receiving the infusion. "Unfortunately, while the rule is a newer rule and is not widely known as others, I should know better", Lochte said. ESP will make sure you understand all the rules of your sport's governing body and will keep you informed of any updates and changes. 

Unfortunate incidents occur with OTC and prescription drugs. Athletes are concerned about the uncertainty of exactly what's in OTC products and improper education about prescription drugs. Because of this, athletes stop taking their medications resulting in needless suffering. Ultimately this is reflected in athletes' performances as well as being very detrimental to their health. Athletes can't keep up with the ever-changing rules and changing banned drug lists. They need a support system to keep them informed.


A better job of education can be accomplished by utilizing a pharmacist for live interactions to answer any questions you have before you take the medication. The mere suspicion of doping can have a negative impact on the longevity of an athlete's career. EJ Sports Pharmacy can assist you in becoming thoroughly knowledgeable about the medications you take for short-term and long-term medical conditions. Allow ESP to provide you the personal attention you deserve.