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Drugs, medications, substances and methods in sport

Therapeutic Use Exemptions

If an athlete needs to take a banned substance, they can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

TUEs are administered by ASADA’s partner organisation, the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC).

More information on the TUE process
Apply for a TUE [ASDMAC site]

 

Watch a video on prohibited substances and methods [streaming FLV - 8.8MB]

 

Watch a video on Therapeutic Use Exemptions [streaming FLV - 15.09MB]

Some drugs, medications and substances are banned in sport, as are some methods. Athletes competing in sports governed by a World Anti-Doping Code compliant anti-doping policy need to be aware that they can’t just take any drug or medication, or even use certain methods.

Each year the World Anti-Doping Agency updates and publishes a Prohibited List. The Prohibited List is the international standard that outlines the substances and methods that are prohibited in sport. It reflects the latest scientific and medical advances and is finalised after a consultative process facilitated by WADA.

Important information about the 2015 Prohibited List

On 1 January the 2015 Prohibited List (the List) comes into effect.

The List is the international standard that outlines the substances and methods that are prohibited in sport. It reflects the latest scientific and medical advances and was finalised after a consultative process facilitated by WADA.

The change of most interest to many athletes is to pseudoephedrine, a substance commonly used to treat nasal and sinus congestion. WADA has removed pseudoephedrine from the 2014 Monitoring Program and it remains on the Prohibited List. For athletes this means pseudoephedrine concentrations found in urine above 150 microgram per millilitre are prohibited in--competition in all sports.

Medications that contain Pseudoephedrine like Sudafed, Codral, etc. must be ceased 24 hours prior to competition.

Other changes for 2015 seek to provide greater clarity to the List, with the majority of amendments being of a technical nature, including re-categorising and improving the terminology of existing substances and methods.

Monitoring Program

In order to detect potential patterns of abuse, Telmisartan and Mildronate have been added to the Monitoring Program in 2015.

The full list of substances included in the 2015 Monitoring Program are:

1. Stimulants: in-Competition only - Bupropion, caffeine, nicotine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, pipradrol, synephrine.
2. Narcotics: in-Competition only - Hydrocodone, mitragynine, morphine/codeine ratio; tapentadol; tramadol.
3. Glucocorticoids: in-competition (by routes of administration other than oral, intravenous, intramuscular or rectal) and Out-of-Competition (all routes of administration)
4. Telmisartan: in and out-of-competition
5. Meldonium (Mildronate): in and out-of-competition

Ahead of its implementation on 1 January 2015, athletes and support personnel should familiarise themselves with the full details available through WADA’s website which contains the Prohibited List, a Summary of Modifications and details of WADA’s Monitoring Program for 2015.  

 

How substances come to be prohibited

For a substance or method to be prohibited, it must meet two of the following three conditions:

  1. The substance or method has the potential to enhance, or does enhance performance in sport.
  2. The substance or method has the potential to risk the athlete’s health.
  3. WADA has determined that the substance or method violates the spirit of sport.

The full definitions of reasons why methods and substances are prohibited (along with the rest of the World Anti-Doping Code) can be found on WADA’s website.  

Every athlete is responsible for the substances that enter their body. Athletes are also responsible for any method they undertake.

ASADA can help athletes and their support personnel check substances they may have to take, as well as find out more about banned substances and methods.

Important information about GW501516


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has released an advisory cautioning athletes to be aware of the black market substance GW501516.

GW501516 was a developmental drug that was withdrawn from research by the pharmaceutical company and terminated when serious toxicities were discovered.

More information on the WADA advisory can be found on its website.

Check your substances


  1. Click the ‘check your substances’ button on this or any other page of the ASADA website.
  2. Choose your sport, gender and your role (e.g. athlete or medical professional)– this ensures you get the right result.
  3. Enter the name of the Australian medication.
  4. Get your results instantly in a new window. If you want to check more than one substance, go back to step three.
  5. Click ‘log out and print session receipt’*. Either save your receipt electronically or print it out.

*You will be given a reference number to document your search results. It is extremely important that you retain your reference number, as proof of your research before using the medication or substance. This may help you if you are ever called upon to provide that information in the future.

Pseudoephedrine

Pseudoephedrine is prohibited above 150 micrograms per millilitre, under the List.

Athletes should not take pseudoephedrine 24 hours prior to or during competition.
There are permitted alternatives which you can take in this time period.

Out-of-competition there is no need for a TUE to take pseudoephedrine.

For therapeutic applications in-competition, consider the use of alternative permitted medications upon previous consultation with a physician, or apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

Overseas products

Drugs, medications and substances listed on the ASADA website are only brand-name products sold in Australia. Be extremely careful when using an overseas product.

You might not find medications or substances listed on the ASADA website if they are an overseas product, a new product, or if you are searching by the generic product name or ingredients.

Some medications obtained overseas have the same brand name as medications sold in Australia, but they may contain different ingredients. Although the name and logo may be identical to that in Australia, overseas products may contain substances that are prohibited in sport.