WADA Prohibited List 2020: What you need to know

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its 2020 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, and UKAD has pulled out the key bits you should know before it comes into effect on 1 January.

Whether you’re an athlete, coach, physio or doctor, it’s vital you are aware of the changes, so you don’t get caught out and end up with a ban from sport.

The List outlines substances and methods which are banned both in and out-of-competition, but it’s not exhaustive as most categories only include common examples. It’s updated every October, giving you time to get to grips with any changes before the New Year, but please be aware that changes can also be made to the Prohibited List throughout the year.

The full List can be quite dry to read unless you’re a chemistry fanatic, but it contains vital information you need to know when training, competing or working with athletes. The good news is there isn’t any major changes for 2020, but locate your reading glasses, grab yourself a cuppa and take some time out to read this quick summary on the changes below.

Check your supplements carefully

Wanting to increase your lean muscle mass? Maybe you’re considering buying a fat burner or a pre-workout? Be careful – the dietary supplement you’re thinking of purchasing may contain an ingredient on the 2020 Prohibited List!

Several of the changes this year relate to supplements, or ingredients that may find their way into them. UKAD always advises athletes to be vigilant and to take a food-first approach to nutrition where possible, as no guarantees can ever be made that a supplement is free from banned substances. Here’s the key changes below;

  • In section S1, Anabolic agent LGD-4033 is now also listed by its more commonly used name, ligandrol. Athletes should be aware that this substance has recently been found in certain dietary supplements, marketed for increasing lean muscle mass.

  • In section S6, Stimulant Octodrine (1,5-dimethylhexylamine) was added as an example of a Specified Stimulant. Octodrine has recently started appearing in supplement products marketed for fat burning and pre-workout.

Read UKAD’s position on dietary supplements.

Noble gas Argon gets the cut

In Section S2 of The List (peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances and mimetics), noble gas Argon has been removed, as it's no longer considered to meet the criteria for inclusion.

Examples of prohibited substances have been added…

  • In section S1, Methylclostebol and 1-epiandrosterone were added as examples of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS).

  • In section S4, Bazedoxifene and ospemifene were added as further examples of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).

  • In section M3, “Gene silencing” and “gene transfer” were added as further examples of gene doping methods.

More information

If you’re in any doubt about any medications or their ingredients, you can check them on the Global DRO website. Supplements can be checked on the Informed Sport website, but please be aware this only minimises the risk, no guarantee can be given that any particular supplement is free from prohibited substances.

If you’re still uncertain, you can contact substanceenquiry@ukad.org.uk.

Athletes who have a legitimate medical reason for using a prohibited substance or method which is on The List, can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

For further information on the full list of modifications please consult the WADA 2020 Prohibited List and the WADA 2020 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes.