Why WADA is the Superior Drug Test for Natural Bodybuilding

Natural Bodybuilding WADA Testing

WADA drug testing is superior to other drug testing protocols.

Most athletes have a drug testing procedure they must follow. However, bodybuilding is a sport that drug testing is not a priority in many leagues—for example, the National Physique Committee (NPC) and International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness Pro League (IFBB Pro). Still, most federations don’t condone doping. However, they don’t go about testing for it either. 

Natural bodybuilding is a different story, though. Competitors in natural bodybuilding are required to a drug test. That’s what makes the sport “natural,” after all. With that being said, not all natural bodybuilding leagues use the same drug-testing laboratory. However, one natural bodybuilding league utilizes the best drug testing equipment available – World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). And this league is the largest natural bodybuilding league in the industry – the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA). 

WADA is the Best Drug Testing Available for Natural Bodybuilders

There are many different types of drug testing in the sport of natural bodybuilding, but other natural bodybuilding leagues don’t use WADA. For example, the United States Bodybuilding Federation (USBF) uses a different metric. The INBA/PNBA stated,

“These other so-called natural federations/organizations are doing the athletes and the industry a huge disservice by misleading athletes into believing they are being tested based on their own protocols. Polygraph, Redwood Toxicology, and Quest Diagnostics in no way have the capability to do so.”

The problem with such tests – polygraph, Redwood Toxicology, Quest Diagnostics, etc. – is that many PEDs go undetected. The sad part is that some athletes claim to be completely unaware that the substances they’re using are banned from natural bodybuilding. Of course, this gives athletes an unfair advantage in the sport, even if it’s unintentional. For example, Jill Kolivoski, the professional Women’s Bodybuilding champ at 2021 Natural Olympia, recently failed a drug test administered at Natural Olympia

However, the substance that caused her to fail the drug test – Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) – passed the USBF drug testing procedure. Furthermore, this substance was in a natural herbal supplement she was using to lower her cortisol, proving the accuracy of the lab INBA/PNBA uses compared to other natural bodybuilding leagues. 

Natural Bodybuilding and Drug Testing 

Natural Bodybuilding WADA

To compete in natural bodybuilding, you must be natural and abstain from steroids and PEDs. The INBA/PNBA league especially has its athletes tested through the WADA. They have a list of banned substances all athletes are prohibited from using unless they want to be stripped from their prize money, title and banned from competing. 

Not only is WADA used by the most reputable natural athletes and most respected natural bodybuilding league, but it’s also the testing other professional athletes’ use, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC). 

INBA/PNBA Disparity from Other Natural Bodybuilding Leagues 

According to the INBA/PNBA commission,

“Natural organizations claim to drug test, and some use a 10-15min polygraph test and or substandard testing labs (employment testing labs) but where is the transparency when an athlete does fail a test?”

The INBA/PNBA also claims that other leagues failed drug tests go under the radar. However, the INBA/PNBA league makes the athlete who failed a drug test public information via the Hall of Shame. The INBA/PNBA questions why other “natural” bodybuilding leagues don’t follow suit. Instead of dodging the truth. 

Below is a clip from Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life, detailing the WADA protocols INBA/PNBA athletes undergo. 

WADA is the superior drug testing mechanism for natural bodybuilding athletes. INBA/PNBA set the bar high for drug testing. Still, hopefully, other natural bodybuilding leagues will follow in their footsteps. If they want the same respect and recognition, they’ll have no other choice. 

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As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.