Medications & Doping
Are You On Drugs? – 2023 Version
Well, to be more specific, are you taking any medications that contain items on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List? How do you know what drugs are on the Prohibited List? The WMA Anti Doping link above has links to a Banned Medication Search as well as the Prohibited List (WADA) (remember that the list changes each calendar year).
This Banned Medication Search is also useful because some off-the-shelf medications that you may only use for temporary conditions (e.g. cold and flu, sinus) also contain banned substances that may show up in drug test results. The world sporting bodies certainly want athletes to continue to take medication where it is necessary for a medical condition.
So, there is a process where you can apply to have your use of medication approved provided that your doctor can establish it is essential to treat your particular medical condition and where you obtain no competitive advantage. This process is called a Therapeutic Use Exemption or TUE for short. All an athlete needs do is take a copy of the approved TUE to a championship where drug testing may apply and they would have no worries if selected for a drug test.
The Sports Integrity Australia website also has a link called Athlete Testing on what is actually involved with a drug test should you be selected to have one. It is designed to help athletes understand what will happen during and after a testing session and their rights and responsibilities in relation to testing. If your doctor or other expert advice has determined that a TUE will be required, the TUE applications may be downloaded from the TUE Application Form link above.
The next step is to take it to your doctor to fill in the medical details required. Because the members of the WMA’s sub-committee who will consider your application are in different parts of the world, an electronic copy of the TUE should be created to facilitate sending them the TUE for their consideration. Most scanning applications can create a multi-page PDF file that is ideal for this purpose.
The electronic copy of the completed TUE should then be emailed to the WMA TUE Coordinator Carole Filer at email@example.com
The final and important message to take away is to ensure you have a TUE covering any banned substance that may show up in your doping-control test results. Remember, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. So don’t delay, start making enquiries NOW.