Nine Australian athletes face the possibility of two-year bans after returning positive tests for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine in a recent raft of testing by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
ASADA released a statement on its website (www.asada.gov.au) on Saturday confirming the positive tests and warning athletes to be vigilant as banned stimulants like methylhexaneamine can be found in bodybuilding and dietary supplements.
When contacted by Reuters, a spokesman for ASADA was unable to give details of the athletes or sports involved, saying it was too early in the process to make that information public.
"Due to the large number of athletes testing positive at the same time, we cannot divulge who is involved or what sports they participate in until we have gathered all the information needed as the cases are ongoing," he said.
"The athletes are entitled to privacy under WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) regulations until all tests have been carried out and we respect those rules."
Earlier this month, Nigerian sprinter Osayemi Oludamola was stripped of the women`s 100 metres Commonwealth Games gold medal after testing positive for methylhexaneamine in Delhi.
Methylhexaneamine, which is also commonly used in nasal decongestants, was added to the WADA banned list this year.
In the ASADA statement, chief executive officer Aurora Andruska spoke of the authority`s concern of the rise in the number of positive tests for this particular substance.
"Methylhexaneamine is appearing more and more in doping test results and has been linked to a number of popular supplements," she said.
"Australian athletes must be very careful when using any supplement because, under the World Anti-Doping Code`s policy of strict liability, athletes are responsible for any substance found in their body and we don`t want to see Australians face bans for the use of methylhexaneamine."