Checking Medications

Medications prescribed by a doctor or bought directly over the counter may contain prohibited substances. It is an athlete’s responsibility to check their medication before using it even if they have used it before.

It is also important to note that medications bought abroad may contain different substances to those bought in the UK.

Global Drug Reference Online (DRO)

Global DRO provides athletes and support personnel with information about the anti-doping status of specific medications and ingredients based on the current WADA Prohibited List. Visitors can search Global DRO for medications sold in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Global DRO provides the user with a unique reference number for each search.

Key Points to Remember

  • A user can refer to the FAQ section within Global DRO to make sure they understand the search results correctly.

  • Annual changes to the Prohibited List come into effect each year on 1 January. Therefore, it is important for an athlete to re-check the status of any medications they continue to use at the start of each year on Global DRO.

  • If the medication is prohibited, athletes should use our TUE Wizard to find out if they need a TUE and how to apply.
  • If an athlete is unable to find the medication they are looking for, they can send an enquiry to UKAD directly from the Global DRO website.

Using Medications Abroad

Athletes planning to travel abroad are encouraged to undertake the following actions prior to travelling:

  • Take enough medication to continue any treatment during the duration of the trip

  • Check Global DRO for the anti-doping status of all medications before travelling

  • Check whether they are permitted to possess the medication in the country that they are travelling to. Some countries have different customs laws that may prohibit the import of certain substances into a country.

  • Take a copy of their prescription

  • Download the Clean Sport App (on Apple or Android) which allows an athlete to keep a note of all medications that they are using, as well as quick access to Global DRO in case they need to check the status of a substance whilst travelling.

Any medication purchased overseas should be carefully checked. The ingredients in common medications may contain different substances to those available in the UK. An athlete purchasing medications in countries that do not operate a medication database like Global DRO should complete additional checks to accurately identify the anti-doping status of the medication purchased. This could include:

  • Contacting a team doctor for guidance

  • Contacting UKAD with the medication name and list of active ingredients via email to substance@ukad.org.uk

  • Translating all active ingredients that are listed within the medication and search for the anti-doping status of each ingredient individually on Global DRO