Certified for Sport® Certification

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Certification Process
NSF mark

NSF International's Certified for Sport® program was created to meet the growing demands of athletes, coaches and all those concerned about banned substances in sports supplements. The program certifies that what is on the label is in the bottle and that the product does not contain unsafe levels of contaminants, prohibited substances and masking agents.

Our scientists screen sports supplements for more than 270 banned or prohibited substances including:

  • Narcotics
  • Steroids
  • Stimulants
  • Hormones
  • Related substances along with diuretics and other masking agents

We also monitor prohibited substances lists, such as the WADA, NFL and MLB lists, on an ongoing basis.

Certification also means that supplement manufacturers and their suppliers have met our stringent independent certification process. The guidelines were developed through a consensus process involving regulatory, sports industry and consumer groups.

Benefits of Certification

Man playing golf

Certified for Sport® helps athletes, coaches and trainers make more informed decisions when choosing sports supplements. The program is recognized by the NFL, NFL Players Association, MLB, MLB Players Association, PGA, LPGA and Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports.

The NSF certification mark on your products helps athletes of all levels buy your supplements with confidence. Certified supplements must meet rigorous standards that include comprehensive lab testing and extensive evaluation of the manufacturing process to ensure contaminated substances or hidden ingredients are not added to a product.

The program helps your company:

  • Protect against adulteration of products
  • Verify label claims against product contents
  • Identify athletic banned substances in the finished product or ingredients

You also receive an extensive range of co-marketing services to support your newly certified products. We:

  • List your products on www.nsfsport.com and in NSF's Certified for Sport® app
  • Guide you on using the NSF mark on product labels, advertising and other promotional and marketing collateral
  • Offer communications expertise to assist in the development of press releases and educational materials
  • Provide trade show tools that will help you communicate your certification to reach a wider audience

Why Work With NSF?


NSF helps your company establish credibility and provides you with state-of-the-art laboratory testing.

Certified for Sport® builds on our expertise in dietary supplements and functional foods. We maintain and led the development of the only American National Standard to certify dietary supplements, NSF/ANSI 173.

Our scientists and expert lab team help you establish product stewardship by confirming content, purity and compliance, and by assessing public safety and environmental concerns on products. We conduct routine analyses in an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited lab according to U.S. FDA standard methods, AOAC official methods, USP monographs and more for:

  • Organic and inorganic analyses
  • Ingredient confirmation
  • Contaminant analysis
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticide residues
  • Processing impurities
  • Dioxin
  • Unknown mixtures

We continually invest in the latest technologies and have analytical instrumentation including GC, GC/MS, GFAA, ICP, ICP/MS, LC/MS, HPLC, hi-res GCMS, TOC and IC. Our dedicated staff of highly skilled professionals in analytical chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, food and plant science and nutrition provides thorough testing and accurate results to meet today's public health and safety needs.

Certification Process

Certified stamp

Five Steps to Certified for Sport® Certification

  1. Application including:
    • Formulation
    • Label
    • Ingredient suppliers information
    • Manufacturing facilities information
  2. Toxicology review
    • Label and formulation review and comparison
    • Ingredient review
    • Determination of product testing
  3. Facility inspection
    • Good manufacturing practices (GMP) audits of production facilities and review that no banned substances are stored or manufactured at the facility
    • Observations of in-house laboratories
    • Sourcing and traceability procedures
    • Schedule of ingredient supplier audits based on number of suppliers
  4. Annual laboratory testing/analysis
    • Microbiological
    • Heavy metals
    • Pesticides/herbicides
    • Label content verification
    • Disintegration
    • Banned substances testing based on number of lots
  5. Product certification/listing
    • Monitoring of control formulation/ingredient supplier changes
    • Marketplace sampling

Contact NSF International

  • Mailing List

  • Or contact the nearest NSF location
  • [x] Close

See all related news

See all training

  • Open What does being Certified for Sport® mean?

    A product that is designated as NSF Certified for Sport® goes above and beyond the established standard for quality in dietary supplements.  It demonstrates the manufacturer’s commitment to providing athletes with a clean, safe product, and promoting fair play in sport.  In addition to label claim verification and contaminant testing required for NSF product certification, NSF Certified for Sport® products are also tested to be free of 180 banned substances from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Prohibited Substance List. Choosing NSF Certified for Sport® supplements allows athletes, coaches and sports medicine professionals to rest easy knowing that they are reducing risk of a positive doping test as much as possible.

  • Open Who does this program help?

    NSF Certified for Sport® protects athletes at all levels of competition, including Olympic, professional, collegiate, high school, amateur, youth and weekend warriors from testing positive for a banned substance. These products also go through the our product certification process, which includes label verification and contaminant testing, and decreases the athlete’s risk of any potential negative health implications that may arise from taking an adulterated dietary supplement product.

  • Open Where can I obtain more information about NSF Certified for Sport®?

    For more information on NSF Certified for Sport® and a complete list of certified products, please see www.nsfsport.com. The NSF Certified for Sport® mobile app available for iPhone and Android will also provide a complete list of certified products.

  • Open How many banned substances does NSF screen for? Is it updated yearly?

    NSF currently screens for 180 banned substances.  This list is based off on the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) Prohibited Substance List and is updated annually as new testing methodologies are developed and validated.

See all related Q&A