Athlete Advisory: Prohibited substance GW1516

18 February 2020

Due to the risk of prohibited substance GW1516, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) would like to again warn athletes about the dangers it poses to your health.

GW1516, primarily used in sports doping to increase endurance, is not approved for human use.

Trials were stopped due to research in animals suggesting GW1516 causes rapid development of cancer in organs, such as the liver, thyroid, stomach, colon, testes, and ovaries. Also of concern was an increased death rate and detrimental effects of foetuses.

In June 2018, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) included GW1516 in the Poisons Standard under Schedule 10 – a schedule reserved for substances of such danger to health as to warrant the prohibition of sale, supply and use.

Initially developed as a therapeutic agent, GW1516 is orally administered either as a liquid, capsule, or powder.

GW1516 was first listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List in 2009.

The first adverse analytical finding (AAF) related to GW1516 was in 2013. After a number of subsequent positive tests for GW1516 in 2013, WADA and ASADA released a warning on its health risks.

To date, a total of 31 athletes globally have received suspensions.

PDF icon Substance fact sheet - GW1516