• Governance 1 min read

    Anti-doping - the prohibited list and checking medication

    What is the prohibited list?

    In order to ensure that all players, coaches and support staff are clear on the substances that constitute doping in sport, WADA produces the Prohibited List. This list is an internationally agreed standard identifying the substances and methods of use that are prohibited within sport.

    It also defines when these substances are prohibited as there is some variation between those that are prohibited only in competition (duration of a match) and those that are prohibited both in and out of competition. Substances and methods of use are classified by categories (e.g. Anabolic Agents, Stimulants, Growth Factors).

    The use of any Prohibited Substance by an athlete for medical reasons is possible by virtue of a Therapeutic Use Exemption. The WADA Prohibited List is revised each year, with the new list coming into effect from 1 January.

    For a substance to be placed on the prohibited list it does not have to be merely performance enhancing, it must satisfy 2 out of 3 of the following criteria:

    1) Evidence that the substance or method enhances or has the potential to enhance performance

    2) Evidence that the substance or method represents an actual or potential health risk to the athlete

    3) Determination by WADA that non-sanctioned use of the substance or method violates the spirit of sport.


    WADA 2016 Prohibited List 

    Prohibited List 2016 changes explained (PDF)

    UKAD have produced a guidance document that seeks to explain the Prohibited list, making it easier to use and clearer to understand.

    UKAD Prohibited List Guidance Document

    It is important to remember that from 1 January 2010 Pseudoephedrine was listed as a prohibited substance. Therefore it is very important that you check the ingredients of any cold or flu remedies you may be thinking of using or consider not using them at all.

    Checking Medication

    The website Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) is the only definitive resource for any athlete wishing to check the prohibited status of any medication they are considering using.

    Here you will be able to carry out a straightforward search branded products or selected ingredients and be provided with up to date information on the medication in question. Global DRO will also provide guidance on whether or not particular medications and their ingredients are prohibited in or out of competition.

    It is important to remember that Global DRO cannot be used to search the prohibited status of nutritional supplements.

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