Checking medications

Getting ill is okay, it happens. Failing a test because you took a medication that contained a prohibited substance is not okay. In fact, it is avoidable.

Athletes must check that any medication they use does not contain any prohibited substances.

Not knowing is not an excuse. There is no sympathy for carelessness.

The facts - what you need to know about substances

  • The Prohibited List describes what substances and methods are prohibited in sport. It is published on an annual basis on the 1st of January. Please note, if you are checking medications 1 January 2020 onwards, ensure you re-check the status of all medications, even if you checked them in December, as the 2020 WADA Prohibited List goes live on 1 January, and Global DRO is also updated on 1 January 2020 to reflect the changes to the list.

  • Medications prescribed by a doctor or bought directly over the counter may contain prohibited substances.

  • Not all substances are prohibited at all times – make sure you know whether the substance you need to take is prohibited at all times or just in-competition.

  • If you are tested, you will need to complete the Declarations Box on the Doping Control Form by listing all medications (and supplements) you have taken in the last seven days.

What that means for you

If you take a medication that contains a prohibited substance and then are tested, you could face a ban from sport.

Sometimes you may have no option but to take a medication that contains a prohibited substance.

If you find yourself in this situation you must seek additional advice on whether you need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

What you should do

  • Check all medications on Global DRO before using and save your search number as evidence you have done this.

  • Repeat checks on existing and new medications as sometimes manufacturers change the ingredients they use, and the status of substances (whether they are prohibited or not) can change.

  • Download the 100% me Clean Sport App and use the medications record section to record any medications that you take, including the dosage, so you don’t forget.

  • Make sure that you declare all medications that you have taken on the Doping Control Form if you are tested.

Where to go for further advice

If you have any questions on your medication, then you are able to contact the Science & Medicine team at UKAD via email on substance@ukad.org.uk.