Checking Medications and Substances

Checking Your Medication

Many medications available for common medical conditions, such as asthma or hayfever, may contain prohibited substances.  You need to be aware that these are readily available in products prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter in a pharmacy.

The advice from UK Anti-Doping is simple - check every single substance or medication before you use it, even if you have used it before. It is also important to remember that medications bought abroad may contain different substances than those in the UK and you should always check before you take them.

Global Drug Reference Online

Global DRO provides athletes and support personnel with information about the prohibited status of specific substances under the rules of sport based on the current World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, for products sold in the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, United States, Switzerland and Australia. The system has the ability to check the status of branded medications and individual active ingredients as well as providing every search with a unique reference number for your records.

Global Drug Reference Online

A new mobile-enhanced version of Global DRO is now available enabling athletes to check their medicines while on the move.If you can’t find what you are looking for then you can send an enquiry to UK Anti-Doping directly from the Global DRO website.

Drug Information

Travelling Abroad and Checking Medications

Prior to Travel
Athletes planning to travel abroad should consider undertaking the following actions:

  • Take enough medication to continue any treatment during the duration of the trip
  • Check Global DRO for the prohibited or permitted status of all medications before travelling
  • Check whether you are permitted to possess the medication in the country you are travelling to. Some countries have different customs laws that may prohibit the import of certain substances into a country.
  • Take a copy of your prescription (especially if carrying a prohibited substance) and your Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) certificate (if applicable)
  • Download the Clean Sport App to i. keep a note of all medications that you are using; and ii. to access a quick link to Global DRO in case you need to check the status of an ingredient whilst traveling.

Whilst Abroad
Any medication purchased overseas should be carefully checked. The ingredients in common medications may contain different substances to those available in the UK. As a result, athletes should:

  • Search Global DRO for the prohibited or permitted status of medications when they are purchased in Australia, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States
  • Complete one of the following checks when purchasing medications in countries that do not operate a medication database such as Global DRO:
    • Contact your team doctor for guidance
    • Contact UK Anti-Doping with the medication name and list of ingredients for guidance (; +44 (0)20 7842 3450)
    • Translate all active ingredients that are listed within the medication; then search each ingredient individually on Global DRO.

Information on Supplements

UK athletes are advised to be vigilant in their choice to use any supplement. No guarantee can be given that any particular supplement is free from prohibited substances. Informed-Sport tests batches of supplements to check for contamination as part of a risk minimisation programme.