Blog: Don't let a cold take you out of action for four years...

1 June 2015

...is your medication prohibited in sport?

The days are getting shorter and colder which means the cold and flu season is also here. It’s easy to grab the first cold and flu medication on the shelf, but as an athlete you need to be extra cautious in checking if any medication or other substance you are taking is prohibited in- or out-of-competition.

Pseudoephedrine, for example, is found in some cold and flu and decongestant medications such as Sudafed and Codral. Pseudoephedrine is banned in-competition – to be precise it’s banned when its concentration in a urine sample is greater than 150 micrograms per millilitre. To be safe you should cease using it at least 24 hours prior to competition.

There are new formulations for some of these medications that don’t have pseudoephedrine; instead they use active ingredients such as Phenylephrine hydrochloride or Chlorpheniramine maleate. These alternate ingredients in medications are permitted in sport at all times.

You should also be aware that supplements and herbal products can contain prohibited substances. Supplements and herbal products are not regulated in the same way as medicines, so they can contain substances not listed on the label, and are at greater risk from cross-contamination from other substances manufactured on the same equipment. Because of this risk, ASADA is unable to provide definitive advice about supplements or herbal products.

So remember, before you take a medication or other substance to get over your cold or flu always check your substances on Global DRO for its status in sport.