The role of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) as per World Anti-Doping Code is to provide guidance and education to athletes to prevent doping in sports. In this sense, the entity implemented the Anti-Doping Prevention and Education area, led by the manager Christian Trajano, physician and former technical director of the Brazilian Authority on Doping Control (ABCD). With the development and implementation of the Anti-Doping Prevention and Education Program in the Brazilian Olympic sport, the COB supports the actions of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and ABCD.

Among the purposes of the area is the integration of Anti-Doping Prevention and Education actions to Brazilian Coaches Academy, a branch of the Brazilian Olympic Institute, the education arm of the COB, as well as Transforma, a program to promote the Olympic Values to the youth. The protection of the Olympic spirit is the driving force behind this initiative of the COB and is aligned with the values of the entity: meritocracy, transparency, and austerity.

The department plans the development of an application for mobile learning, integrated to an e-learning platform, in addition to face-to-face actions at the Time Brasil Training Center, Maria Lenk Water Park, which includes lectures and educational seminars for members of Team Brazil.

In Brazil, the entity that coordinate doping control tests that conduct the results management of an adverse analytical finding, and forward to the Anti-Doping Court is ABCD. The COB carries out a warning to our Olympic athletes about the dangers of using prohibited substances. With increasing concern over this issue in recent years, the Brazilian Olympic Committee has sought to develop mechanisms to enhance athletes' knowledge.

Do you want to get in touch with the Anti-Doping Prevention and Education area?

Tels .: +55 21 3433-5901 (or 5902)

CLICK and check the COB documents on the subject.
Or go to the WADA website and see the World Anti-Doping Code.

Do you want to contact the area of Doping Prevention and Education?
WADA’s anti-doping eLearning platform (ADeL)

The antidoping



Prohibited List

Doping Control

World Anti-Doping Code

Consequences of Doping

TUE Wizard

You need a Therapeutic Use Authorization (TUE)?

Do you need a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)?

It's the athlete's responsibility to know and understand the TUE process and requirements that apply to them. 

These requirements depend on the athlete's medication, sport, and level of competition.

Use our TUE wizard to find out if, when, and how to apply for a TUE.

This Virtual Assistant is a Brazilian version, developed by COB, of the UKAD's TUE Wizard.


The Therapeutic Use Exemption Wizard (‘the Wizard’) is a tool designed to guide individuals through the requirements for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (‘TUE’) and is subject to the COB's Cookie Policy. However, please note the Wizard is merely a guide to assist athletes and it remains each athlete’s individual responsibility to actively check and verify their TUE requirements regularly. COB cannot be held liable for errors in results including, but not limited to, those occurring due to the input of incorrect information into the Wizard or for the misinterpretation of the results provided by the Wizard. 

COB cannot be held liable for the information obtained by checking medicines regarding prohibited substances within the Prohibited List on third-party websites, even if they are suggested as a research source by the Assistant.

The results provided by the Wizard will reflect changes to the relevant rules and guidance, including the World Anti-Doping (WAD) Code Prohibited List, the WAD Code International Standard for TUEs, and the Brazilian Law, as are in force from time to time.

Through using the Wizard, athletes are not automatically granted a TUE, and completion of the Wizard does not constitute submission of a TUE application. It remains the responsibility of the athlete to ensure that they complete the TUE application process specific to their sport, competition level, and medical treatment. Further, the results provided by the Wizard may not continue to be accurate in the event of the athlete changing sport, the athlete changing competition level, the athlete changing medical treatment, or annual changes to the Prohibited List (each event being a ‘Verification Event’). Athletes must verify their TUE requirements on the occurrence of a Verification Event to ensure that they have the correct information. With this in mind, athletes should keep a copy of Wizard search results to demonstrate the checks they have made and when they last made them.

By using the services described above, the user agrees and authorizes the BRAZILIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE, a non-profit association, registered with the CNPJ/MF under No. 34.117.366/0001-67, at Ave. Américas 899, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro/RJ, to process my personal data and sensitive personal data, in accordance with the General Data Protection Law (Federal Law 13.709/2018)

For more information or for specific queries relating to TUE requirements, including if you have doubts about the result provided by the Wizard, please contact COB at:, or ABCD at

Summary of Answers



Prohibited List - Cannabinoid

All natural and synthetic cannabinoids are prohibited except for cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis, hashish and marijuana are prohibited.  Products, including foods and drinks, containing cannabinoids, are also prohibited. All synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effects of THC are prohibited.

CBD is not prohibited; however, athletes should be aware that some CBD oils and tinctures extracted from cannabis plants, may also contain THC and other cannabinoids that could result in a positive test for a prohibited cannabinoid.

A cannabinoid is a compound produced by the cannabis (marijuana) plant or synthesized as a chemical (synthetic cannabinoid). Of more than 100 cannabinoids in the plant, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive compound, which alters the mind or behavior. Other cannabinoids include cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG). Since the mid-2000’s, many different synthetic cannabinoids were produced in illegal laboratories and sold as drugs to mimic the effects of THC.

Antidoping Rules Violation

When an athlete or athlete support person commits a doping offence, it is known as an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV). Certain consequences or sanctions apply to the athlete or athlete support person who commits an ADRV.

There are a number of different types of ADRVs, which are defined in Article 2 of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). The 2015 ADRVs Report is based on the types of ADRVs listed in the 2015 Code (except for Article 2.4):

Article 2.1 – Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample

Article 2.2 – Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method

Article 2.3 – Evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection

Article 2.4 – Whereabouts failures (any combination of three missed tests and/or filing failures within a 12-month or 18-month period by an athlete)*

Article 2.5 – Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control

Article 2.6 – Possession of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method

Article 2.7 – Trafficking or attempted trafficking in any prohibited substance or prohibited method

Article 2.8 – Administration or attempted administration to any athlete in-competition of any prohibited substance or prohibited method or administration or attempted administration to any athlete out-of-competition of any prohibited substance or any prohibited method that is prohibited out-of-competition. 

Article 2.9 – Complicity (assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation)

Article 2.10 – Prohibited association

*Refer to Question 18 of the Q&A.

An analytical ADRV refers to a violation of Code Article 2.1 (above) and is based on an adverse analytical finding (otherwise known as a positive result), which indicates the presence of a prohibited substance in a urine and/or blood sample collected from athletes and analyzed by a WADA-accredited laboratory.

A non-analytical ADRV is where an athlete or athlete support person (coach, trainer, manager, agent, medical staff, parent, etc.) commits another type of ADRV that does not involve the detection of a prohibited substance in a urine or blood sample from athletes, as outlined in Code Articles 2.2 to 2.10 above. Athlete Biological Passport cases are considered as non-analytical cases pursuant to Code Article 2.2.

The 2015 ADRVs Report begins with an Introduction and an Executive Summary, and consists of four main sections.

- The Overview comprises an Introduction and an Executive Summary of the Report and highlights the key data.

- Sections 1 and 2 present the results management outcomes (including ADRVs) of all AAFs detected by WADA-accredited laboratories for samples collected from athletes in- and out-of-competition and received by the laboratories in 2015. They are presented by sport, discipline (Section 1) and testing authority (Section 2).

- Section 3 includes ADRVs that resulted from non-analytical findings committed by athletes (presented by sport and nationality) and by athlete support personnel (presented by nationality).   

- Section 4 indicates the total number of ADRVs in 2015, which includes AAFs that resulted in an ADRV plus all non-analytical ADRVs. It presents the data by sport and nationality. It is further broken down into type of samples (urine or blood), type of test (in- or out-of-competition) and athlete gender.

The 2015 Anti-Doping Testing Figures Report is a compilation of analysis results of athlete urine and blood samples as reported by WADA-accredited laboratories.

The ADRVs Report provides information regarding all ADRVs, which includes the outcomes of AAFs detected by WADA-accredited laboratories as well as ADRVs that resulted from non-analytical findings.

The data on urine and blood samples analyzed and the resulting AAFs are taken from the 2015 Anti-Doping Testing Figures Report (published in November 2016). The results for all samples were submitted by WADA-accredited laboratories directly into the  Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS), WADA’s centralized online database.

Aggregated data on the outcomes of AAFs, as well as all the data relating to Non-Analytical Findings (case decisions) were compiled by WADA based on decisions provided by Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs).

The AAFs featured in the 2015 ADRVs Report correspond to the analysis of samples received by all WADA-accredited laboratories between 1 January and 31 December 2015.

The ADRVs that resulted from non-analytical findings refer to cases that were concluded in 2015. These figures may include violations that were initially pursued prior to 2015, and may not include violations that occurred in 2015 yet were not closed in the same year.

The outcomes indicated in the 2015 ADRVs Report for cases involving both AAFs and non-analytical ADRVs are based on the decisions received and reviewed by WADA before 31 January 2017, which is the date the Report was compiled. Discrepancy from ADOs’ published statistics may occur due to different reporting criteria.

This Report offers the most comprehensive set of global statistics on doping offences in 2015 broken down by sport, testing authority and nationality. The Report provides the outcomes of cases reported as AAFs and includes those that resulted in an ADRV being asserted (subject to any cases that remain pending). The Report also includes the number of non-analytical ADRVs, which, when combined with the total number of AAFs, provides a more accurate assessment of the number of doping cases that were adjudicated in 2015.

The Report’s data is provided by Code Signatories and reviewed by WADA in accordance with the requirements of the 2015 Code (Article 14.4). WADA is mandated to report the data. It should be noted that interpretation of the data should be undertaken with caution, as many contributing factors must be taken into account when attempting to interpret the data regarding sports, testing and results management authorities and nationalities (e.g. Analytical ADRVs should be considered in proportion to the total number of samples analyzed, or in the context of the Signatory’s Test Distribution Plan). This caution applies to this Report as well as the Testing Figures Report.

WADA is committed to further enhancing the statistical reports by providing the anti-doping community with more transparent and accurate data of the testing and investigation activities worldwide.

The results management process can take a long time. This process includes a number of steps, beginning with the observation of a potential analytical or non-analytical violation. This is followed by an AAF being reported and other steps including investigation, decision, potential appeal and the publication of the decision. A high number of cases must be resolved before the Report can be prepared on the basis of a robust set of data that reflects the year in its entirety. At the time of compiling this ADRVs Report (31 January 2017), WADA had received 92% of the decisions relating to 2015 AAFs.

Future ADRVs Reports will be released on an annual basis and within a similar timeframe prior to the release of the following year’s Anti-Doping Testing Figures Report.

Cases classified as pending are those cases where the Results Management Authority (RMA) has not provided all the documentation necessary to allow WADA to validate the case decision. Examples of missing documentation include:

- The reasoned decision explaining the outcome of the case;

- A copy of the relevant Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE); and

- The athlete’s identification information or any other relevant information about the case.

A very small number of cases may also be pending due to the complexity of the case. Consequently, disciplinary proceedings may still be ongoing.

It is the responsibility of the RMA to manage the results of tests and to render a decision for all AAF cases. In the majority of cases, the RMA is also the Testing Authority (TA), which is the organization that authorized the collection of the sample.

In a small number of cases, the TA is not the RMA, and therefore is not responsible for the outcome of a pending case. Another organization such as an International Federation (IF), National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) or National Federation (NF) may be the RMA and is therefore responsible for rendering a decision in a particular case.

WADA continues to follow up with the relevant RMAs to remind them to complete their outstanding results management procedures as soon as possible and to provide WADA with the final, reasoned decision. Timely completion of results management processes is a requirement for maintaining compliance with the Code. Not pursuing results management for a potential doping case or a failure to provide the final written decision to WADA or the applicable NADO or IF may result in the matter being raised to WADA’s Compliance Review Committee, who is responsible for making recommendations of non-compliance to WADA’s Foundation Board.

The Code requires that cases are dealt with in a timely, fair and impartial manner. Sufficient time must be provided for each party to prepare and present their case to the appointed disciplinary body. As outlined in the Results Management, Hearings and Decisions Guidelines: ‘Irrespective of the type of ADRV involved, any anti-doping organization (ADO) should be able to conclude the Results Management and hearing process within a maximum of six months of the date of the commission or discovery of the ADRV.’

Some cases are more complex than others, and may be appealed after the first instance hearing, which then takes additional time for the case to be finalized and for a written decision to be published and submitted to WADA.

Every individual case is different and is assessed by the relevant RMA based on the specific facts and circumstances. Publishing the sanction details for every single case without the reasoning and context behind the decision could lead to misinterpretation of the information.

Yes, ADOs are mandated under the Code to publish all ADRVs from their doping control activities (Articles 10.13 and 14.3.2). Furthermore, all ADOs must also notify WADA and the applicable IF or NADO of the decision in all cases, including non-analytical cases and any investigations conducted (Article 14.4). A failure to do so is not in compliance with the Code.

Yes, WADA reviews every single decision provided to its Legal Department by RMAs, and has the right to appeal those decisions that are not compliant with the Code to, either, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) or national level reviewing bodies.

A total of 280 individuals (252 athletes and 28 athlete support personnel) were reported to have committed one or more non-analytical ADRVs based on decisions received in 2015.

In certain cases, the athlete or athlete support person may have been charged with more than one non-analytical ADRV. For example, an athlete can be charged with Article 2.6 (possession), Article 2.7 (trafficking) and Article 2.8 (administration). Such cases are calculated as single occurrences for each type of violation but only relate to one athlete or athlete support person. Therefore, a total of 375 non-analytical violations were committed by 280 individuals in 2015.

The Code defines the term ‘athlete support personnel’ as ‘any coach, trainer, manager, agent, and team staff, official, medical, paramedical personnel, parent or any other Person working with, treating or assisting an Athlete participating in or preparing for sports Competition’. As such, an athlete support person can be involved in different sports and may not be connected to only one.

The reference period for whereabouts failures pursuant to Article 2.4 of the 2009 Code is 18 months but the applicable period based on the 2015 Code is 12 months. Since the ADRVs Report is based on decisions rendered in 2015, this includes ongoing cases from 2014 to which the 2009 Code was applied and new cases from 2015 to which the 2015 Code was applied.

Prohibited List

Platelet derived preparations (PRP) are not prohibited.  Despite the presence of some growth factors, platelet-derived preparations were removed from the Prohibited List as recent studies on PRP do not demonstrate any performance enhancement beyond a potential therapeutic effect.

Note that individual growth factors from any other source remain prohibited under S.2.

The status of plasmapheresis is different for plasma donors and recipients:

  • For the plasma donor, plasmapheresis is prohibited under section M1.1 because the donor’s own red blood cells (and other blood components) are being reintroduced back into their own circulatory system after the plasma or blood components have been separated outside of the person’s body. 
  • For the plasma recipient, who is receiving plasma from a different donor, plasmapheresis is not prohibited under M1.1 or M1.3 as the patient receives only plasma, but not whole blood or red blood cells.  For the plasma recipient, plasmapheresis would only be prohibited under M2.2 if it is not legitimately received in the course of hospital treatment when the volume is more than 100 mL per 12 hour period.

Intravenous laser therapy is prohibited under M1.3 as defined by “Any form of intravascular manipulation of blood…”

MHA is known by many different names, including, but not limited to, dimethylamylamine, 1,3-dimethylamylamine, dimethylpentylamine, methylhexamine, methylhexanamine, 1,3-dimethylpentylamine. It is prohibited In-Competition only as a specified stimulant under Section 6.b.

MHA is a stimulant that was sold as a medicine up to the early 1970s, but is no longer used for medical treatment. MHA is currently included as a constituent of some dietary supplements sold today, including via the Internet.

The WADA Prohibited List may include any substance and methods that satisfy any two of the following three criteria:

It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance;

It represents an actual or potential health risk to the Athlete;

It violates the spirit of sport (this definition is outlined in the Code).

Substances or methods which mask the effect or detection of prohibited substances are also prohibited.  In addition, a substance which has not been approved for human use is likely to be prohibited as well.

The Prohibited List is reviewed annually in consultation with scientific, medical and anti-doping experts to ensure it reflects current medical and scientific evidence and doping practices. The Prohibited List comes into effect on January 1st of each year and is published by WADA three months prior to coming into force; however, in exceptional circumstances, a substance may be added to the Prohibited List at any time.

Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated that natural geranium oil does not contain MHA. The use of geranium oil cannot be considered as being the source of MHA or related metabolites in a urine sample collected for anti-doping purposes.  However, athletes should be aware that MHA has been marketed under various names, including “geranium oil” so athletes should be extremely cautious about using supplements with this ”ingredient”.  

MHA is a stimulant that was sold as a medicine up to the early 1970s, but is no longer used for medical treatment. MHA is currently included as a constituent of some dietary supplements sold today, including via the Internet.

MHA is prohibited In-Competition only as a stimulant under section S6.b.

Clenbuterol is an anabolic agent that prohibited at all times (i.e., both in- and out-of-competition). There is no threshold under which this substance is not prohibited.

At present, and based on expert opinions, there is no plan for WADA to introduce a threshold level for clenbuterol.

It is possible that under certain circumstances the presence of a low level of clenbuterol in an athlete sample can be the result of food contamination. However, each case is different and all aspects and context of the case need to be taken into account during the results management process. According to the World Anti-Doping Code, the athlete has the opportunity to explain how a prohibited substance entered their body during the results management and/or or hearing phase of their case.

WADA is working closely with specific countries, International Federations and event organizers to help minimize the risk of meat contamination. Food contamination as a public health issue is primarily a matter for governments to resolve.

It should be clear that all substances on the Prohibited List are prohibited. The sub-classification of substances as “Specified” or “Non-Specified” are important only in the sanctioning process.

A “Specified Substance” is a substance which potentially allows, under defined conditions, for a greater reduction of a sanction when an athlete tests positive for that particular substance.

The purpose of the sub-classifications of “Specified” or “Non-Specified” on the Prohibited List is to recognize that it is possible for a substance to enter an athlete’s body inadvertently, and therefore allow a tribunal more flexibility when making a sanctioning decision.

“Specified” substances are not necessarily less effective doping agents than “Non-Specified” substances, nor do they relieve athletes of the strict liability rule that makes them responsible for all substances that enter their body.

Colostrum is not specifically prohibited, however it can contain certain quantities of IGF-1 and other growth factors which are prohibited and can influence the outcome of anti-doping tests. Therefore, WADA does not recommend the ingestion of this product.

Deer Antler Velvet Spray may contain IGF-1, which is a prohibited substance and has been included on the Prohibited List for many years. On the other hand, very small quantities of IGF-1 can be found naturally in animal products (e.g. colostrums, deer antler velvet).

There can be no guarantee that IGF-1 taken orally will not influence the plasma level of IGF-1, which may influence the result of anti-doping tests.

WADA recommends that athletes exercise extreme caution with this supplement because it could lead to a positive test.  Athletes who use these types of products do so at their own risk.

In addition, like other supplements, these products may contain prohibited substances not disclosed on the product label.

Effective 1 January 2018 glycerol was removed from the Prohibited List.  This decision comes in consideration of the information published in scientific articles since 2012 that particularly addresses the ability of glycerol to influence the athlete‘s plasma volume and parameters of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), where the magnitude of glycerol-derived effects is regarded as minimal.

Dialysis (also known as hemodialysis) is a medical treatment for patients with kidney failure. Dialysis is a prohibited method under M1.1, as blood is taken out from the patient and filtered, before being reintroduced back into the patient’s circulatory system. An athlete needing dialysis treatment requires a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

WADA names substances according to the following convention:

For substances that have been given an International Non-proprietary Name (INN), as published by the World Health Organisation, this name is used first.

Only when the commonly-used name of a substance is better known than the INN, this commonly-used name appears in parenthesis.

When the INN is not known, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) nomenclature is used, accompanied in some cases by the commonly-used name.  As INNs are generated, the Prohibited List evolves with the addition of the INN and if deemed beneficial, the previous IUPAC name may be still included for a period of time.

Common examples of substances and methods are provided in all sections but these examples are not exhaustive.

Mannitol by inhalation is permitted e.g. to perform bronchial provocation testing in asthma.

Mannitol is only prohibited when administered intravenously.

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors dorzolamide and brinzolamide, when administered topically in the eye, are not prohibited. The rationale behind this exception is these drugs do not have a diuretic effect when topically applied.

Eye drops containing beta-blockers are prohibited in particular sports under section P1 because the ophthalmic administration of beta-blockers results in systemic concentrations of the drugs similar to when the medication is taken orally.

Intravenous infusions or injections are not prohibited if they are legitimately received in the course of a hospital treatment, surgical procedure or clinical investigation or if they do not exceed 100 mL per 12 hour period. Otherwise they require a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

The intent of section M2.2 is to prohibit hemodilution, overhydration and the administration of prohibited substances by means of intravenous infusion. An intravenous infusion is defined as the delivery of fluids through a vein using a needle or similar device.

The legitimate medical uses of intravenous infusions may not need a Therapeutic Use Exemption in certain settings (hospital treatment, surgical procedures or clinical investigations).  In other situations, such as trauma with or without blood loss, severe dehydration, intractable vomiting, the athlete should receive appropriate treatment and apply for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption as soon as reasonable. 

Injections with a simple syringe are not prohibited as a method if the injected substance is not prohibited and if the volume does not exceed 100 mL every 12 hours.

Pseudoephedrine is a specified stimulant prohibited In-Competition only at a urinary threshold of 150 µg/mL. This decision was based on the results of controlled excretion studies as well as scientific literature indicating that only high doses of pseudoephedrine improved sports performance.

Given the wide availability of pseudoephedrine, particularly as a component of multi-ingredient cold and influenza treatments, athletes and their support personnel should be advised the following.

Athletes should stop taking Pseudoephedrine-containing medicines at least 24 hours before competition. For therapeutic applications during the In-Competition period, consider the use of alternative permitted medications in consultation with a physician, or apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption for the use of Pseudoephedrine for therapeutic reasons.

The established urinary threshold level of 150 µg/mL may be reached (rarely, but possibly) in some individuals within 6-20 hours of taking some long-acting therapeutic formulations.

The threshold level of 150 µg/mL has been established based on the intake of therapeutic doses of pseudoephedrine, defined as a maximum daily dose of 240 mg pseudoephedrine taken either as:

four daily oral administrations (one every 4-6 hours) of a 60 mg (or 2 x 30 mg) immediate release preparation (i.e. tablet, capsule or liquid) or

two daily administrations (one every 12 hours) of a 120 mg extended release preparation

one daily administration of a 240 mg extended release preparation.

As an example, a single daily dose of 3 x 60 mg tablets would be a supratherapeutic dose that may lead to an Adverse Analytical Finding.

The fact that a substance is not on the Prohibited List does not mean that it is not prohibited since most categories only include some common examples and are not exhaustive.

In addition, section S0 (Non-approved substances) includes substances used for doping which are not included in other sections of the Prohibited List that are not approved by any governmental regulatory health authority for human therapeutic use. This includes drugs under pre-clinical or clinical development, discontinued drugs, designer drugs or veterinary drugs. A designer drug is defined as a synthetic analogue of a legally restricted or prohibited drug, devised to circumvent drug laws. 

Most prohibited substances fall in one of the S1 to S9 categories.  Therefore, only in rare occasions a substance is included in S0 after a case-by-case evaluation.

Catheterization may be necessary for medical purposes. It is only prohibited if used to tamper or attempt to tamper with the integrity of a sample or sample collection.

For beta-2-agonists, given by ANY device, the amount of drug can be expressed in two ways:

Metered Dose – the quantity of drug substance contained in the delivery device (inhaler)          

Delivered dose – the amount of drug that is available to the lungs; delivered from the mouthpiece of the inhalation device.  

The Prohibited List refers to the delivered dose for formoterol and the metered dose for salbutamol and salmeterol to reflect the most common labelling practices around the world.

The labelling convention of asthma inhalers may vary between countries – to determine the delivered dose of a product in a particular country, read the accompanying medical literature and labelling of the inhalation device you are using.  Note that there are many different types of inhalers; a Metered Dose Inhaler (MDI), i.e. a “puffer” is one type.  Other delivery devices include, but are not limited to: Diskus, Turbuhalers, Ellipta, Aerolizer, Genuair.

Nebulizers are not prohibited as a device; however the amount of beta-2-agonist administered by nebulisation may surpass the allowed maximum doses of salbutamol, salmeterol or formoterol by inhalation; therefore the dose may be prohibited.

Vitamin B12 is not prohibited because the cobalt present does not have the same effects as elemental cobalt or cobalt salts. In addition, the amount of cobalt that is naturally contained in food is not significant and would not be enough to act as a doping agent. However, if a dietary supplement includes cobalt, for example inorganic cobalt or cobalt salts, then it would be considered prohibited.

Hypoxic chambers artificially induce hypoxic conditions. Their use is not prohibited by WADA, however some sporting authorities ban the use of hypoxic chambers during competitions under their sport rules. Athletes must check the rules that apply to hypoxic chambers with the sporting authorities governing the events they compete in.

Higenamine is prohibited under S3 as a non-selective beta-2-agonist. Higenamine is documented to be a constituent of the plant Tinospora crispa, which can be found in some dietary supplements.

Supplemental oxygen administered by inhalation, but not intravenously, is permitted. However, some sports authorities may prohibit its use in their regulations. Athletes must check the rules that apply to supplemental oxygen use with the sporting authorities governing the events they compete in.

Regular food consumption will not yield sufficient levels of phenylethylamine to result in an Adverse Analytical Finding.

Non-transformed stem cells used alone (with no growth factor or other hormones added) for healing injuries are not prohibited as long as they return the functioning of the affected area to normal and do not enhance it.

Actovegin is a deproteinized calf serum.  According to the manufacturer, it contains peptides, amino acids, nucleic acids but does not contain cells or proteins.  Independent analysis of the product has not detected prohibited growth factors, proteins in general, or steroids.  So based on this, Actovegin is not prohibited except if it is used as an intravenous infusion or injection of more than 100 mL each 12 hours.

Gene editing is a type of genetic engineering in which DNA is manipulated at specific sites. Gene editing technology has advanced impressively in recent years and is a promising gene therapy technique for the treatment of, for example, genetic diseases or cancer; at this point only a few early stage clinical trials are taking place worldwide. This has prompted WADA to evaluate possible misuses of gene editing for doping and as a consequence, has included these technologies in the definition of Gene Doping in the 2018 Prohibited List. Despite sensational and scientifically unfounded claims occasionally seen in the media, WADA is not presently aware of any athletes who are gene doping. Nevertheless we want to be ahead of the game and make it clear that when or if such techniques as gene editing would be used to enhance performance beyond a return to normal function, then it would be prohibited.

Effective 1 January 2018, and after careful consideration and extensive consultation, Alcohol is excluded from the Prohibited List. The intent of this change is not to compromise the integrity or safety of any sport where alcohol use is a concern, but rather to endorse a different means of enforcing bans on alcohol use in these sports. The International Federations (IF) affected by this change were alerted sufficiently in advance in order to amend their rules and to put in place protocols to test for alcohol use and appropriately sanction athletes who do not abide by the rules of their sport. Control of the process will allow IF more flexibility in applying rules or thresholds as they see fit. The National Anti-Doping Organizations are no longer obliged to conduct tests but may assist IF and National Federations where appropriate.

Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)

Athletes, like all people, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications or undergo procedures. If the medication or method an athlete requires to treat an illness or condition happens to fall under the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine or method. TUEs are granted according the International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE), a document outlining the conditions, the stakeholder responsibilities and the TUE process.

The process for an athlete is fairly simple. Each athlete must:

  • Contact the relevant International Federations (IFs) or National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) (whichever applies) and ask for information about the TUE Application process. Applications are usually submitted through the Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) or using a paper form.
  • Have the physician fill out and sign the TUE Application form and produce the required supporting documentation and forward it to the IF or NADO (whichever applies) for approval. Athletes should remember that the TUE Application should be submitted at least 30 days before participating in an event.

Tips on applying for a TUE:

  • Complete the form through ADAMS, either typed or handwritten in block capital letters. If the form is not legible, it is deemed incomplete and will be returned to the athlete.
  • If faxing the form, ensure that you include all the required documentation and keep a copy of the request as well as a record of the transmission or acknowledgement of receipt.
  • Ensure that your TUE application is complete with all the medical information, tests, laboratory results, imaging studies, clinical information to enable the TUEC to reach a decision in tune with WADA’s documents entitled “Medical Information to Support the Decisions of TUECs/TUE Physician Guidelines” available at here. Upload all of your medical information to support the use of the prohibited method or substance in ADAMS, under the Diagnosis information tab.
  • Always keep a copy of all your medical information, especially the initial diagnostic together with laboratory results, imaging studies and physicians’ notes.

The criteria are:

  • The athlete would experience significant health problems without taking the prohibited substance or method;
  • The therapeutic use of the substance would not produce significant enhancement of performance;
  • There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or method;
  • The requirement to use that substance or method is not due to the prior use of the substance or method without a TUE which was prohibited at the time of use.

For the TUE to be granted, all four criteria must be met.

All IFs, NADOs and Major Events Organizations (MEOs) must have a clear process in place whereby athletes with documented medical conditions can request a TUE, and have such request appropriately dealt with by a panel of independent physicians called a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC). They must publish details of that process by posting the information in a conspicuous place on their website. IFs and NADOs, through their TUECs, are then responsible for granting or declining such applications.

If you are an international level athlete or if you are entered in an international event for which a TUE issued by your IF is required, you must submit your TUE Application to your IF, which is responsible for accepting applications and granting TUEs.

It is possible that MEOs choose to recognize pre-existing TUEs automatically, but they must have a mechanism in place for athletes to obtain a new TUE should the need arise. Athletes competing in such events should have the ability to quickly and efficiently obtain that TUE before they compete.

Athletes must not submit TUE Applications to more than one organization.

If you are a national or lower level athlete, you must submit your TUE Application to your NADO. However, if the NADO considers that the athlete is below the national-level and therefore refuses to consider the application, the athlete should keep that correspondence and nevertheless collect all the medical information and be ready to present the documentation should there be a need.

Special protocols for TUE Applications may be in effect during Major Events. If you are entered in a Major Event, you are advised to inquire with your IF or NADO whether there is any variation in the TUE submission protocol for the Event. Major Events include those organized by international multi-sport organizations that function as the ruling body for any continental, regional, or other international event (e.g. International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee).

If you already have a NADO TUE, it is not valid at the international level unless recognized by your governing IF or by a MEO (see more about recognition below).  If you already have a TUE from your NADO and are participating in an IF or international event, check if this IF or MEO automatically recognize your TUE as per ISTUE article 7.1(a).

Yes, but these TUEs are valid only for the duration of their event. A TUE granted by a NADO or an IF is not valid for the event unless it is recognized by the MEO, although it still is valid outside of that event.

WADA’s role in the TUE process is two-fold. First, the Agency, through its TUEC, has the right to monitor and review any TUE granted by a federation or anti-doping organization and, following such review, to reverse any decision. Second, an athlete who submits a TUE Application to a federation or anti-doping organization and is denied a TUE, can ask WADA to review the decision. In certain cases, WADA must review TUE decisions of IFs and it may review other TUE decisions. If WADA determines that the denial of the TUE did not comply with the ISTUE, the Agency can reverse the decision.

WADA does not accept TUE applications from athletes.

There are situations for which TUEs may be granted retroactively. The evaluation process is identical to the standard TUE application procedure i.e. the TUEC evaluates the application and issues its decision. The ISTUE stipulates which situations may result in the granting of a retroactive TUE, as follows:

  • Emergency treatment or treatment of an acute medical condition was necessary*; or
  • Due to other exceptional circumstances, there was insufficient time or opportunity for the athlete to submit, or the TUEC to consider, an application for the TUEprior to Sample collection; or
  • Applicable rules required the athlete or permitted the athlete to apply for a retroactive TUE.  This is applicable to Persons who are not International-Level or National-Level athletes (Code Article 4.4.5) and (where the relevant NADO so chooses) to National-Level Athletes in sports specified by the relevant NADO(ISTUE Article 5.1 Comment); or
    [Comment: Such athletes are strongly advised to have a medical file prepared and ready to demonstrate their satisfaction of the TUE conditions set out in ISTUE Article 4.1, should an application for a retroactive TUE be necessary following Sample collection.]
  • It is agreed, by WADA and by the ADO to whom the application for a retroactive TUE is or would be made, that fairness requires the grant of a retroactive TUE.

*A medical emergency or acute medical situation occurs when the athlete's  medical condition justifies immediate Administration of a Prohibited Substance or Method and failure to treat  immediately could significantly put the athlete’s health at risk. It is always preferable to address a TUE application prospectively rather than retrospectively. ADOs granting TUEs should have internal procedures to expedite the evaluation and granting of TUE for emergency situations, whenever possible, and without putting the athlete’s health at risk.

TUEs are granted for a specific method or a substance with a defined dosage and route of administration. They are also granted for a specific period of time and do expire. You need to comply with all the treatment conditions outlined in the TUE Application. Material changes to your treatment require a new application and TUE Committee review.

Once a TUE has been granted by an IF or NADO, it will inform WADA, who will then have the opportunity to review this decision. If the decision does not conform to the International Standard for TUEs, WADA may reverse it and deny the TUE. WADA's decision is not retroactive. Therefore, the reversal shall not apply retroactively and your results prior to such notification shall not be Disqualified. Where the TUE reversed was a retroactive TUE, however, the reversal shall also be retroactive.

The concept of recognition should apply as per the ISTUE’s article 7.0. You should not submit an application for a new TUE to the IF or MEO, but should consult their website to check whose TUE decisions they will automatically recognize. If your TUE falls into a category of TUEs that are automatically recognized in this way, you do not need to take further action. In the absence of such recognition, you should submit a request for recognition of the TUE to the IF or MEO either via ADAMS or as otherwise specified by that IF or MEO.

If an IF refuses to recognize a TUE granted by a NADO, the TUE is NOT valid for international-level competition. If you or your NADO appeals this decision to WADA within 21 days, the TUE remains valid for national-level competition pending WADA review. If the TUE is not referred to WADA, the TUE is not valid neither at the national nor international level after 21 days.

The TUE remains valid for international-level competition and out-of-competition testing, but if the NADO refers the matter to WADA, the TUE is not valid for national-level competition pending WADA review. If the TUE is not appealed to WADA within 21 days, the TUE becomes valid for national-level competition as well.

NADOs have the obligation to respect TUEs granted by other NADOs, as long as the granting NADO was competent to grant the TUE (i.e. the athlete is a National or lower level athlete) and the TUE was granted in accordance with the ISTUE.

You or your granting authority may appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a final decision.

When filling out the doping control form, make sure that you declare the substance or method being used and that you specify that a TUE has been granted. Although not mandatory, you are strongly encouraged to show your TUE Approval certificate to the doping control official.

When the doping control authority receives the report from the laboratory, an initial evaluation will take place to verify that the TUE is still in effect and that the results of the analysis are consistent with the TUE granted (nature of substance, route of administration, dose, time frame of administration, etc.). If the review is satisfactory, the result of your test will be recorded as negative.

If your TUE is denied by your IF, WADA must review the TUE decisions as per article 8.1 of the ISTUE. It may review any other decisions.

The review process is as follows:

  1. The request for review must be sent via registered letter to WADA’s Medical Director within 21 days of the decision by the TUE granting authority.  Include your full contact details as well as your e-mail address.  WADA will inform you whether or not your case can be reviewed by WADA’s Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC), as per article 8.0 of the ISTUE;
  2. If your case is accepted, you will be asked to pay WADA an administrative fee of US$500 and further information will be provided regarding  the payment of this fee;
  3. WADA’s TUEC will review the same documentation as the TUE granting authority. WADA may ask you to provide additional information or documents;
  4. WADA’s TUEC will render its decision in a reasonable time, given the circumstances of the case;
  5. The original denial of the TUE will remain in effect until WADA’s TUEC reaches a decision. You are therefore not permitted to use the substance while waiting for the decision from WADA’s TUEC.  If the TUE is granted by WADA’s TUEC, the TUE immediately goes into effect in accordance with the conditions outlined by WADA’s TUEC.
  6. WADA’s TUEC’s decision may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

WADA reserves the right not to review your case for various reasons.  In that event, you may always reapply to your NADO to have a new TUE application considered, especially if there is new compelling medical information presented.

For athletes applying to an International Federation:
You may appeal the IF decision to CAS for a final decision.

For athletes applying to a National Anti-Doping Organization:
You may appeal the NADO decision to an independent appeal body in your country. If this body grants the TUE, WADA could appeal this decision to CAS for a final decision.

WADA TUE review decisions can be appealed to CAS. If WADA upholds the IF decision, the athlete and/or the NADO can appeal to CAS. If the IF decision is reversed by WADA, the IF may appeal to CAS. If an international-level athlete does not have a TUE, he should apply to his IF. If the IF denies the TUE, WADA may agree to review the decision not to grant the TUE. If WADA refuses to review the decision, the athlete may appeal to CAS.

All the information contained in a TUE Application will be kept strictly confidential, the same as any medical information normally kept by your doctor. All members of the Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUECs) are required to sign confidentiality agreements and if they require advice from other scientific experts on a particular case, your name is not used when circulating the application outside the TUEC.

Nebulizers are not prohibited as a device; however the amount of beta-2-agonist administered by nebulisation may surpass the allowed maximum doses of salbutamol, salmeterol or formoterol by inhalation; therefore the dose may be prohibited.

The procedures for applying for and granting a TUE are outlined in the International Standard for TUEs, published by WADA. You may also contact your IF or NADO for more information. You may also consult the below-described TUE Guidelines, also published by WADA.

WADA produces a series of useful guidelines entitled Medical Information to Support the Decisions of TUECs/TUE Physician Guidelines that address common health conditions confronted by athletes (e.g. asthma, joint and muscle disease and injury etc.) in the context of TUEs. These documents are intended to inform NADO and IF TUEC Physicians, but also provide useful information to help athletes and their doctors to know what diagnostic criteria and tests must be included in their TUE application.

Your health is the most important consideration.

Emergency treatment should be carried out, as medically appropriate, and considerations of the need for a TUE can be dealt with after the medical issue is stabilised. There is a category of TUEs for these situations called “retroactive” where the application is made after the treatment has been given.

Examples of Emergency treatments that involve WADA prohibited substances

Pain relief medications – Narcotics (e.g. morphine, pethidine, fentanyl) are on the WADA Prohibited List. They are only prohibited DURING competition. The clearance of these drugs from the body is relatively rapid but they can remain in the system for a few days.  A TUE is therefore required if the athlete is competing within 5 days of taking this medication.

Prednisolone, hydrocortisone – May be given to treat severe allergy, anaphylaxis, asthma and other inflammatory conditions. When given systemically (i.e. Intravenous, intramuscularly, orally) these medications are WADA prohibited but only DURING competition. The clearance of these medications from the body is usually fairly rapid but can be variable and will remain in the system for a few days. A TUE is therefore required if the athlete is competing within 5 days of taking this medication.

Adrenaline – may be given for anaphylaxis and an epipen may be given to take home for any future events. It is WADA prohibited DURING competition. These substances both require a TUE if used within 5 days of competition. If an athlete needs to carry an epipen a TUE is required at all times.

Intra-venous (IV) fluids – no TUE is required, regardless of the volume, if the IV fluid is given while the athlete is in hospital, either the ward, emergency department, in surgery or en route to hospital in an ambulance. If it is given at a doctor’s rooms or any place other than those listed above and the volume is >100ml then a TUE is required.

Blood transfusions - Any transfusion of blood, in or out of hospital requires a TUE.

Ventolin (Salbutamol) - during an acute asthma attack you may be given salbutamol via an inhaler (and possibly a spacer) or nebuliser. Inhaled salbutamol is permitted by WADA but only up to 8 “puffs” in a 12 hour period. Salbutamol via a nebuliser will exceed this threshold so a retroactive TUE should be applied for if a nebuliser or more than 8 puffs in 12 hours are given.

There are a number of possible medications given during and after surgery that may need a TUE. Always check any medication you are given on the WADA prohibited List.

Anaesthetic medications –narcotics (e.g. pethidine, morphine, fentanyl) are WADA prohibited but only DURING competition. As the clearance of these drugs from the body is rapid there is no need for a TUE unless the athlete competes within 5 days of receiving these drugs.

IV fluids- are usually given during surgery and the WADA rules state that NO TUE is required for IV fluids given whilst in hospital.

Post-Operative/take home medication – There may be prescribed medication to take home after surgery. This is usually pain relief and some of these may be narcotics in tablet form (e.g. endone or oxycodone) which are prohibited DURING competition. This means a TUE is required if the athlete takes these medications within 5 days of competition.


Strict Liability

The principle of strict liability is applied in situations where urine/blood samples collected from an athlete have produced adverse analytical results.

It means that each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her bodily specimen, and that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in bodily specimen, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.

Prior to the January 1, 2004, implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) - the core document that provides the framework for harmonized anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sports organizations and among public authorities, the principle of strict liability had been applied by the International Olympic Committee in its Anti-Doping Code as well as by the vast majority of pre-Code anti-doping sports rules. In accordance with WADA’s stakeholders’ wishes, the Code continues to apply the same principle.

Yes, there is flexibility when a sanction is being considered.

The rule is the starting point so that, while an anti-doping rule violation occurs regardless of the athlete’s intention, there is flexibility in the sanctioning process to consider the circumstances.

If the sample came from an in-competition test, then the results of the athlete for that competition are automatically invalidated. This rule helps to establish fairness for the other athletes in the competition.

As relates to subsequent sanctions (Art. 10 of the Code), the athlete has the possibility to avoid or reduce sanctions if he or she can establish to the satisfaction of the tribunal how the substance entered his or her system, demonstrate that he or she was not at fault or significant fault or in certain circumstances did not intend to enhance his or her sport performance. This means that the burden of proof is on the athlete.

The strict liability principle set forth in the Code has been consistently upheld in the decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Prohibited List - Dietary and Nutritional Supplements

Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use.

The use of dietary supplements by athletes is a serious concern because in many countries the manufacturing and labeling of supplements do not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under anti-doping regulations. A significant number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements and attributing an Adverse Analytical Finding to a poorly labeled dietary supplement is not an adequate defense in a doping hearing.

The risks of taking supplements should be weighed against the potential benefit that may be obtained, and athletes must appreciate the negative consequences of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation as a result of taking a contaminated supplement.

Use of supplement products that have been subjected to one of the available quality assurance schemes can help to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of an inadvertent doping infringement.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is not involved in the testing of dietary/nutritional supplements.

The Laboratory Code of Ethics, in the International Standard for Laboratories (Section 4.4 of Annex B), states that WADA-accredited laboratories shall not engage in analyzing commercial material or preparations (e.g. dietary supplements) unless specifically requested by an Anti-Doping Organization as part of a doping case investigation. The Laboratory shall not provide results, documentation or advice that, in any way, suggests endorsement of products or services.

WADA is not involved in any certification process regarding supplements and therefore does not certify or endorse manufacturers or their products. WADA does not control the quality or the claims of the supplements industry which may, from time to time, claim that their products have been approved or certified by WADA.

If a company wishes to promote its products to the sport community, it is their responsibility as a manufacturer to ensure that the products do not lead to any anti-doping rule violation. Some third-party testers of supplements exist, and this may reduce the risk of contamination but not eliminate it.

Tramadol Ban - UCI

Tramadol is a painkiller in the synthetic opioid category. It is frequently used by cyclists, as shown by the findings of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)'s monitoring programme since 2012. In particular in the 2017 survey:

4.4% of in-competition tests on cyclists showed the use of tramadol;

68% of urine samples – taken from across 35 Olympic sports – containing tramadol were from cyclists.

The use of tramadol can have two types of side-effect: nausea, drowsiness and loss of concentration (increasing the risk of race crashes), and gradual dependence on the substance with a risk of developing an addiction. Tramadol is available on prescription, but is also freely available on the internet, which increases the risk of uncontrolled self-medication.

In light of the risks associated with its use in competitive cycling, and in accordance with the UCI Management Committee decision of June 2018, the UCI Medical Regulations will ban in-competition use of tramadol. The regulations will be published on the UCI website shortly.

The ban is aimed at preserving the rider's health and safety in light of the side-effects of tramadol, across all disciplines and categories.

As of 1 March 2019, any rider taking part in an event registered on a national or international calendar may be selected to provide a blood sample for tramadol testing.

Testing will take place in-competition, in particular but not only at the end of the races.

The sample collection is not invasive and will be conducted using a sampling kit to collect a limited amount of blood from the rider's fingertip.

This will be managed by the UCI's Medical Director, with logistical and personnel support from the Cycling Antidoping Foundation (CADF).

Like in Antidoping, avoiding a tramadol test will be treated as a positive test.

Dried blood droplets will be collected for presence of tramadol, using a high-precision analysis technique. Positive or negative results will depend on the presence or absence of the substance in the blood (there is no threshold). The analysis will be carried out in a reference laboratory, with the results sent to the UCI Medical Director within a maximum of 4-5 days.

Rider penalties

A first offence committed by a rider will be penalised with disqualification from the event. In addition, a fine of CHF5,000 will be imposed if the rider is a member of a UCI-registered team. In all other cases, the fine will be CHF1,000.

A second offence will result in disqualification from the event and a five-month suspension. If a further offence is committed, a nine-month suspension will be imposed.

Team penalties

If two riders belonging to the same UCI-registered team commit an offence within a period of 12 months, the team will be fined CHF10,000. If a further offence is committed within the same 12- month period, the team will be suspended for a period of 1 to 12 months, to be determined by the UCI Disciplinary Commission.

Erythropoietin - EPO Detection

Erythropoietin (EPO) is a peptide hormone that is produced naturally by the human body. EPO is released from the kidneys and acts on the bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production.

An increase in red blood cells improves the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to the body’s muscles.

While proper use of EPO has an enormous therapeutic benefit in the treatment of anaemia related to kidney disease, its misuse can lead to serious health risks for athletes who use this substance simply to gain a competitive edge. It is well known that EPO, by thickening the blood, leads to an increased risk of several deadly diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and cerebral or pulmonary embolism. The misuse of recombinant human EPO may also lead to autoimmune diseases with serious health consequences.

EPO has been banned since the early 1990s.

A test for EPO was introduced at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia). The test, validated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was based on the blood and urine matrix. A blood screening was performed first, and a urine test was then used to confirm possible use of EPO.

In June 2003, WADA’s Executive Committee accepted the results of an independent report stating that urine tests alone can be used to detect the presence of recombinant EPO. This report, requested by WADA’s stakeholders and commissioned by the Agency to evaluate the validity of urinary and blood tests for detecting the presence of recombinant EPO, concluded that urinary testing is the only scientifically validated method for direct detection of recombinant EPO. This report also recommended that urine testing be used in conjunction with blood screening for a variety of reasons, including the cost savings of performing blood screening prior to testing urine. Some international sports federations still use both urine and blood matrix for the detection of EPO. Recently, the urine test was adapted to blood to perform detection of some new erythropoiesis stimulating agents.

The detection method for EPO is valid and reliable.

The method has undergone an extensive scientific validation process and has been used successfully for many years by accredited anti-doping laboratories around the world. It is a well-established procedure widely accepted by the scientific community, as demonstrated by publication in a number of international scientific journals.

Further, in all its decisions relating to EPO, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has supported the validity of the EPO detection method. And, at a meeting in September 2005, the WADA Laboratory Committee reiterated its support of the method when properly applied.

The conservative approach used in the initial phase of implementation of the method allowed a large number of EPO abusers to escape detection.

Consistent with the advancing science in anti-doping, work is done on an ongoing basis on all detection methods to refine their sensitivity and the interpretation of results. In the case of EPO, based on expert consensus, new interpretation criteria are introduced as science advances for a more discriminant reading of EPO results.

WADA is very much aware of the development of new EPOs and biosimilar EPOs in an expanding market. A number of these new EPOs and biosimilar EPOs are well known and can be detected through current tests.

In addition to constantly refining the existing detection method for EPO and trying to anticipate doping trends, including by closely cooperating with pharmaceutical companies at very early stages of the development of molecules or substances, WADA is currently considering detection methods for EPO that will supplement the existing one and will maximize chances of detecting recombinant EPOs in athletes’ samples. It is important to remember that samples can be stored and later re-analysed as science advances. (The statute of limitations set forth in the World Anti-Doping Code is 8 years.)

In order to further improve detection of abnormal blood profiles, WADA is leading the development of a strategy against doping in sport called the "Athlete Passport", which is based on the longitudinal follow-up of an athlete's biological variables. The objective of this strategy, which will be added to other anti-doping strategies including "traditional" testing, is to detect abnormal variations of determined biological variables in order to better target testing and/or sanction those found with abnormal variations.

Blood Doping

Blood doping is the misuse of certain techniques and/or substances to increase one’s red blood cell mass, which allows the body to transport more oxygen to muscles and therefore increase stamina and performance.

There are three widely known substances or methods used for blood doping, namely, erythropoietin (EPO), synthetic oxygen carriers and blood transfusions.

Each is prohibited under WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods.

EPO is a peptide hormone that is produced naturally by the human body. EPO is released from the kidneys and acts on the bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production.

An increase in red blood cells improves the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to the body’s muscles. It may also increase the body’s capacity to buffer lactic acid.

While proper use of EPO has an enormous therapeutic benefit in the treatment of anaemia related to kidney disease, its misuse can lead to serious health risks for athletes who use this substance simply to gain a competitive edge. It is well known that EPO, by thickening the blood, leads to an increased risk of several deadly diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and cerebral or pulmonary embolism. The misuse of recombinant human EPO may also lead to autoimmune diseases with serious health consequences.

A test for EPO was introduced at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia). The test, validated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was based on blood and urine matrices. A blood screening was performed first and a urine test was then used to confirm possible use of EPO.

In June 2003, WADA’s Executive Committee accepted the results of an independent report stating that urine tests alone can be used to detect the presence of recombinant EPO. This report, requested by WADA’s stakeholders and commissioned by the Agency to evaluate the validity of urine and blood tests for detecting the presence of recombinant EPO, concluded that urine testing is the only scientifically validated method for direct detection of recombinant EPO. This report also recommended that urine testing be used in conjunction with blood screening for a variety of reasons, including the cost savings of performing blood screening prior to testing urine. Some International Federations still use both urine and blood matrices for the detection of EPO. Recently, the urine test used for the detection of some new erythropoiesis stimulating agents was adapted for blood testing.

Synthetic oxygen carriers, such as haemoglobin based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) or perflurocarbons (PFCs), are purified proteins or chemicals having the ability to carry oxygen.

Synthetic oxygen carriers appear useful for emergency therapeutic purposes when human blood is not available, the risk of blood infection is high or when there is not enough time to properly cross-match donated blood with a recipient. However, their misuse for doping purposes carries the risk of cardiovascular disease in addition to various serious side effects (e.g., stroke, myocardial infarction, embolism).

Yes. A test was implemented in 2004.

There are two forms of blood doping: autologous and homologous.

Autologous blood doping is the transfusion of one’s own blood, which has been stored (refrigerated or frozen) until needed.

Homologous blood doping is the transfusion of blood that has been taken from another person with the same blood type.

Although the use of blood transfusions for blood doping dates back several decades, its recent resurgence is likely due to the introduction of efficient EPO detection methods.

A test for homologous blood transfusions (HBT) was implemented at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens.

WADA is funding research projects aimed at developing a test for autologous transfusions.

In order to further improve detection of abnormal blood profiles, WADA is leading the development of a strategy against doping in sport called the Athlete Passport, which is based on following athlete's biological variables over time. The objective of this strategy, which will be added to other anti-doping strategies including "traditional" testing, is to detect abnormal variations of determined biological variables in order to better target testing and/or sanction those found with abnormal variations.

Like the other forms of blood doping, transfusions have serious medical consequences. Another person’s blood may contain a virus, which is unwittingly passed on during the transfusion. An athlete uses his or her own blood, can put themselves at significant health risks if the procedure is not done properly or if the blood is not handled or stored in a proper manner. In addition, unnaturally high red blood cell levels increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary or cerebral embolism.

Donation of whole blood is not prohibited by the WADA rules. 

However, if an athlete donates whole blood they should ensure they keep a medical record from the blood bank confirming the date, type and volume of the donation.  This is particularly important if the athlete is in a drug testing pool and if their testing involves the athlete biological passport (ABP).

This is because evidence of blood loss (whether intentional as part of a blood doping regimen or through an accident, illness or blood donation) may result in changes to an athlete's haematological passport (ABP) and the athlete may be asked to explain these changes to anti-doping authorities.  A record of donation would assist the athlete in these circumstances.

All blood transfusions (received in or out of hospital) require a TUE. It does not need to be done before the treatment is performed if it is an emergency situation. In an emergency situation, appropriate treatment should be carried out first. A TUE should be applied for after the medical situation is stabilised/resolved (i.e. a retroactive TUE).

i) Donating Plasma: This process has some potential concerns under the WADA rules as the donation involves taking whole blood from the donor and then separating out the plasma from the red blood cells and returning the red blood cells (and usually some fluid) to the donor. In some donation centres a Plasmaphoresis machine is used which is a “closed circuit” (i.e. the blood is taken, the plasma extracted and the remaining blood is reinfused all in the one process and whilst connected to the donor).

Both the infusion of fluid and the re-infusion of red blood cells technically breaches the WADA code however this may be less of an issue with the closed circuit process. As with donating whole blood, there may be some changes to the haematological passport (ABP).

Athletes, who are part of a drug testing program, are therefore advised that the donation of plasma/platelets should be avoided whilst they are elite athletes (there is no difference whether the donation occurs in or out of a competition phase).

ii) Receiving Plasma: this process is usually required for serious medical conditions so it is rare for elite athletes to still be competing with such significant illnesses. However if they are, as only plasma is infused (i.e. no red blood cells) and usually it is done in a hospital setting then no TUE is required (if given outside a hospital and >100ml is given then a TUE would be required).

Iron is not prohibited by WADA but if the amount of fluid used to give the infusion is >100ml then a TUE required. If less than 100ml is used then no TUE is required.

The Anti-Doping Administration & Management System - ADAMS

Whereabouts are information provided by a limited number of top elite athletes about their location to the International Sport Federation (IF) or National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) that included them in their respective registered testing pool as part of these top elite athletes’ anti-doping responsibilities.

Because out-of-competition doping controls can be conducted without notice to athletes, they are one of the most powerful means of deterrence and detection of doping and are an important step in strengthening athlete and public confidence in doping-free sport. Accurate whereabouts information is crucial to ensure efficiency of the anti-doping programs, which are designed to protect the integrity of sport and to protect clean athletes.

The concept of out-of-competition is not new. Experience has shown that out-of-competition testing is crucial to the fight against doping, in particular because a number of prohibited substances and methods are detectable only for a limited period of time in an athlete’s body while maintaining a performance-enhancing effect. The only way to perform such testing is by knowing where athletes are, and the only way to make it efficient is to be able to test athletes at times at which cheaters may be most likely to use prohibited substances and methods.

Whereabouts rules are part of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI). The ISTI is mandatory for Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs, including IFs, NADOs, Major Games Organizers, etc.) that have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code (the document harmonizing anti-doping rules in all sports).


Whereabouts requirements are for the limited number of top-level athletes who are in the registered testing pool of either their IF or NADO. They were designed to give those top-level athletes a flexible tool to show their commitment to doping-free sport, as well as appropriate, sufficient and effective privacy protection.

WADA is not responsible for deciding who should be part of these registered testing pools. IFs are afforded discretion as to who should be subject to these provisions internationally, and NADOs are afforded discretion to create a registered testing pool at the national level. It is WADA’s recommendation that registered testing pools be of proportionate and manageable size and focus on top international and national elite athletes.

Athletes can have their agent or another representative submit their whereabouts information if they wish to. In team sports, whereabouts information can be submitted by team officials on a collective basis as part of the team’s activities.

However, athletes are ultimately responsible for their whereabouts. As a result, they cannot avoid responsibility by blaming their representative or the team for filing inaccurate information about their whereabouts or for not updating their whereabouts if they were not at the location specified by them during the 60-minute time-slot.


Whereabouts requirements are a practical tool to help ADOs conduct effective out-of-competition testing. Irrelevant of whether they have been selected to be part of a registered testing pool, athletes can still be tested out-of-competition by their IF, their NADO or other ADOs.

Under the World Anti-Doping Code (the document harmonizing anti-doping rules in all sports), WADA has an obligation to coordinate anti-doping activities and to provide a mechanism to assist stakeholders with their implementation of the Code.

The Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) was developed for this purpose. It is a Web-based database management system that simplifies the daily activities of all stakeholders and athletes involved in the anti-doping system—from athletes providing whereabouts information, to anti-doping organizations ordering tests, to laboratories reporting results, to anti-doping organizations managing results. It is easy to use, available in several languages, and free to WADA’s stakeholders, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the fight against doping in sport.

ADAMS first went online in mid-2005. The system has since been introduced to and implemented by numerous anti-doping organizations and anti-doping laboratories, and is being used by a significant number of athletes around the world.

ADAMS has four primary functions addressing key activities of anti-doping operations:

Athlete Whereabouts

The Web-based functionality allows athletes to enter information about their location from anywhere in the world; and those without Web access may designate a representative such as their ADO to enter the information for them.

This function also helps stakeholders share whereabouts information, crucial for maximizing the surprise effect and the efficiency of unannounced out-of-competition testing. Athletes can also modify their whereabouts by sending SMS (text) messages.

Information Clearinghouse

The clearinghouse is where data is stored, in particular laboratory results, Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) authorizations and anti-doping rule violations. It permits the sharing of information among the relevant organizations and guarantees that anti-doping activities are performed with the highest level of transparency.

Doping Control Platform

The ADAMS doping control database provided to ADOs is an essential tool for managing a doping control program, both in- and out-of-competition. Stakeholders can use ADAMS to plan, coordinate, and order tests, as well as manage test results. Coordination of doping control programs in the ADAMS system helps to avoid duplication in doping controls.

TUE Management

ADAMS allows for online management of TUE requests, as well as online notification of those involved in the process.

As of October 2009, ADAMS was used by approximately 23,000 elite athletes around the world.

ADAMS has been implemented and is used by close to 60 International Sport Federations (IFs), more than 40 National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) and by all 35 WADA accredited laboratories. Stakeholders continue to be trained and added to the ADAMS system or a regular basis.

In addition, a number of Major Games Organizers, including the Pan American Sports Organization, the Olympic Council of Asia and the International Paralympic Committee, have adopted the system to manage their in-competition testing programs at their events.

Individual athlete statistics show that close to 100,000 athlete profiles have been logged.

Although the use of ADAMS is not mandatory for anti-doping organizations (ADOs), WADA strongly recommends its use. ADAMS allows ADOs to coordinate anti-doping activities between each other and to fulfill their responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code in a highly secure, cost and time-effective way.

Athletes can easily enter their whereabouts information on ADAMS. Athletes are trained to use ADAMS by their IF or NADO, which were themselves trained by WADA. In addition, WADA offers a number of resources to users (user guides, etc.).

Athletes can update their whereabouts information at all times, including by emailing or text messaging their relevant ADO.

Under the revised International Standard for Testing which went into force on January 1, 2009, the limited number of top elite athletes included in the registered testing pool of their IF or NADO are required to specify 1 hour each day (between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.) during which they can be located at a specified location for testing. If they are not at the indicated location at the specified time, they expose themselves to the risk of a missed test.

In addition, they are required to indicate their regular activities for testing purposes. This information does not have to cover every 24/7 movement of the athlete but only recurring or regular activities, for example:

Overnight home (address)

Morning training (address)

14:00 – 15:00: training (available for testing).

Yes. Under the 2009 International Standard for Testing, in team sports, whereabouts information can be submitted by team officials on a collective basis as part of the team’s activities.

ADAMS contains a module for team sports which allows an ADO to create a role for a team official. The team official then can enter whereabouts information on a collective basis for athletes of his/her team who are part of their ADO registered testing pool.

ADAMS subsequently informs the athlete that the team official entered new data and requests the athletes to accept or reject the submission made by the team official.

Athletes are ultimately responsible for their whereabouts. As a result, they cannot avoid responsibility by blaming their representative or the team for filing inaccurate information about their whereabouts or for not updating their whereabouts if they were not at the location specified by them during the 60-minute time-slot.

Given that out-of-competition doping controls can be conducted without notice to athletes, they are one of the most powerful means of deterrence and detection of doping and are an important step in strengthening athlete and public confidence in doping-free sport.

Accurate whereabouts information is crucial to ensure efficiency of the anti-doping programs, which are designed to protect the integrity of sport and to protect clean athletes. Many years of experience have shown that a minority of athletes use every occasion to cheat and that anti-doping efforts can only be effective (in terms of both prevention and detection) if athletes who are part of a registered testing pool know they can be tested anytime and if ADOs have the ability to do so.

More information can be found in the “Q&A on Whereabouts Requirements.

There are two main reasons why ADOs share information with each other, whether via ADAMS or through other on- or off-line methods:

First, for most top athletes, there is more than one organization that has the authority to test the athlete (e.g., a NADO, an IF, WADA, and, on occasion, an events organization). In order to conduct such tests, it is necessary that information about the athlete be communication between the relevant parties.

Second, athletes may be competing or training in various countries, which means that information on athletes need to be shared with ADOs in those countries for anti-doping purposes.

The sharing of such information benefits the athletes, insofar as it ensures that they are not subjected to unnecessary tests or unreasonable demands imposed by ADOs with authority to test the athlete (e.g., required to submit multiple TUE applications or whereabouts information more than once as could previously be the case).

ADAMS adheres to security standards similar to those found in the banking industry. ADAMS uses 128-bit SSL encryption to protect data transmissions.

ADAMS offers a significant improvement in the treatment of athlete personal data compared to the traditional email and fax system that was previously used to handle athlete data. ADAMS’ multilevel access system protects the security and confidentiality of data thanks to a security system that complies with the highest data protection standards.

Athletes (or their designated representative) can enter their whereabouts information and can access them at all times.

They can update their information and profile at all times. The access and user rights to ADAMS are predetermined. ADAMS users, including authorized users within WADA, sign strict l confidentiality agreements regulating the access, user rights, and non-disclosure information.

The sharing of any information must be carried out in accordance with Article 14 of the World Anti-Doping Code, which covers confidentiality and reporting. Only anti-doping organizations authorized to test the athlete can access his/her data. The organization “responsible” (custodian) for the athlete is responsible for providing access rights. For example, if UK Sport creates a profile for a UK athlete in ADAMS, UK Sport will be qualified as the “custodian” of the relevant athlete’s records and is designated as such in ADAMS. UK Sport may grant other ADOs, such as an ADO where the athlete train or competes, access to certain information of the relevant athlete (e.g., whereabouts training or test planning information). In such case, ADAMS lets athletes know which entities have access to their information. For obvious reasons, athletes do not have access to information about test planning.

The use of ADAMS is subject to national data protection laws. In a number of countries, National Anti-Doping Organizations consulted with and subsequently received approval from their national data protection authorities before starting to use ADAMS. In addition, the ADAMS User Agreement and WADA’s International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information provide that Anti-Doping Organizations using ADAMS should only grant access to relevant data to other ADOs on a need-to-know basis.

For TUEs, access to athletes’ health data is limited to the body delivering TUEs for this particular athlete and WADA. The International Standard for TUE imposes strict rules on whom within those organizations can access such data. TUE authorizations and refusals contain limited information (athlete identity, substance).

Samples analyzed by laboratories are coded and anonymized. Only the ADO responsible for results management, the IF and WADA have access to the results.

ADAMS clearly informs the athletes of which organizations have the right to access their data. The athlete’s profile in ADAMS – visible by the athlete – contains a Security tab stating this information. Athletes are informed of any change of access.

Data can be stored within ADAMS for a maximum of 8 years, to reflect the statute of limitations set forth in the World Anti-Doping Code.

This deadline is modified when relevant (e.g., 18 months for whereabouts, given that any combination of 3 missed tests and/or failures to provide accurate whereabouts information within an 18-month period can lead to the opening of a disciplinary proceeding by the ADO with jurisdiction over the athlete). As a result, some whereabouts has already been automatically deleted by ADAMS. 

Athlete Biological Passport

The fundamental principle of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) is to monitor selected variables (`biomarkers of doping´) over time that indirectly reveal the effect of doping, as opposed to the traditional direct detection of doping by analytical doping controls.

The ABP is currently composed of two modules:

  The Haematological Module, introduced in December 2009, aims to identify enhancement of oxygen transport, including use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and any form of blood transfusion or manipulation.

The Steroidal Module, introduced on January 1st, 2014, aims to identify endogenous anabolic androgenic steroids (EAAS) when administered exogenously (i.e. not created by the human body) and other anabolic agents, such as selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMS).

The Haematological Module considers a panel of biomarkers of blood doping that are measured in an athlete’s blood sample. The Steroidal Module considers a panel of biomarkers of steroid doping measured in an athlete’s urine sample.

The objective of integrating the ABP into the larger framework of a robust anti-doping program is twofold:

1) To identify and target athletes for specific analytical testing by intelligent and timely interpretation of passport data;

  For the Haematological Module, this includes Erytrhopoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs) and homologous blood transfusion (HBT) tests;

For the Steroidal Module, this includes Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) to detect endogenous steroids administered exogenously.

2) To pursue possible anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) in accordance with Article 2.2 (Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method) of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).

WADA is engaged with experts and stakeholders to further develop the ABP and is working on an endocrine module which aims to detect the abuse of growth factors such as growth hormone.  The long-term goal of the ABP is the development of a large panel of biomarkers of doping in taking advantage of recent advances in analytical chemistry and a better understanding of systems biology through ‘omics’ fields such as proteomics and metabolomics.

No.  The fight against doping relies on several strategies, including the direct testing of athletes as well as evidence gathered in the context of non-analytical anti-doping rule violations. By combining these strategies, and seeking new ones to address emerging threats, the global fight against doping is more effective.

The typical doping control approach based on the detection of prohibited substance or their metabolites in an athlete’s sample is an effective approach; however it has limitations when an athlete may be using substances on an intermittent and/or low-dose basis. Furthermore, new substances or modifications of prohibited substances (e.g. designer drugs) may be difficult to detect by conventional analytical means. In recent years, doping regimes have become much more scientifically planned and have taken advantage of the weaknesses in traditional protocols. The ABP complements the traditional anti-doping testing approach to enhance the cost-efficiency of anti-doping programs.

WADA’s ABP Guidelines foster consistency and uniformity in application, without mandating specific administrative or procedural elements. Each Anti-Doping Organization remains free to implement the recommended processes suggested in the Guidelines to reflect its own resources and context.

Nevertheless, a series of mandatory protocols related to sample collection, analysis and legal considerations must be rigorously followed to ensure both legal fortitude, scientific certainty, and to support mutual recognition and sharing of data between organizations. These mandatory protocols are given in the Appendices of the Guidelines. Only programs that fully adhere to these protocols and fully utilize ADAMS can be considered official ABP programs rather than general ‘profiling’ programs.

No.  An assessment of the physiological risks of sports and their disciplines should be carried out in order to ascertain which module(s) may be applicable. 

The Haematological Module evaluates red blood cell variables. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the cells, and therefore blood manipulation is likely in sports where endurance is advantageous to athletes (e.g. use of erythrocyte stimulating agents or blood transfusions).  However, the advantage of improving oxygen carrying capacity extends to sports that are not typically endurance events, but nevertheless have a large aerobic component. For the Haematological Module, athletes must be identified by the ADOs as being part of the ABP program, as there are specific blood tests that must be obtained.

The Steroidal Module refers to Anabolic Androgenic Steroids, which may be particularly abused by athletes in sports requiring strength and power. These substances may also increase the production of red blood cells and affect recovery. Therefore, they may also be used by endurance athletes. 

All urine samples are automatically analyzed for the Steroidal Module, “steroid profile”, which means that any athlete who has been tested is essentially part of a Passport program. As soon as an athlete has more than one urine sample analyzed, a longitudinal steroid profile will be established in ADAMS.

No. All urine samples are analyzed for the Steroidal Module, “steroid profile” with results reported in ADAMS by the WADA accredited laboratories, regardless whether a blood sample was collected at the same time on the athlete or more generally whether the ADO implemented the Haematological Module.

The Steroidal Module is automatically applied, i.e. ordinary urine tests is part of the Steroidal Module. The ADO may decide that the Haematological Module is not a necessary part of their overall anti-doping strategy and need not be implemented.

An APMU is composed of persons designated by the ADO to administer an ABP. The Unit, ideally a WADA accredited laboratory-associated APMU, is responsible for the administrative management of Athlete Passports, advising the ADO on intelligent target testing, liaising with the Expert Panel, compiling and authorizing an ABP Documentation Package and reporting Adverse Passport Findings.

Larger ADOs may in some situations operate an in-house APMU. Otherwise it is advisable for the ADOs to contract an APMU associated with a WADA accredited laboratory.  The APMU may or may not operate both Haematological and Steroidal Modules. If the ADO is not running the Haematological Module, then only a steroidal APMU needs to be contracted or integrated into existing administrative processes.

If for some reason the ADO has not already engaged an APMU, and a steroidal Atypical Passport Finding (ATPF) is reported with a negative or inconclusive IRMS, then the responsible ADO should seek further guidance from the laboratory that performed the test. (More information can be found in the Q&A on the ABP Steroidal Module in the menu on the left.)

WADA encourages ADOs to establish a relationship with a WADA accredited laboratory-associated APMU, given that this is where the expertise required for data interpretation is most accessible. Some larger ADOs may have the appropriate scientific, analytical and medical expertise available to operate an APMU ‘in-house.’  It is possible that some ADOs who do not run a Haematological ABP program and where the risk of steroid doping is very low, decide to manage Atypical Passport Findings (ATPF) as they arise.

Please consult the list of APMUs associated with WADA accredited laboratories.

Not necessarily. WADA encourages ADOs to contract Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) that already have experts associated with them; however ADOs may choose to retain their own experts should they wish.

WADA's role in Result Management

WADA’s duty is to monitor anti-doping activities worldwide to ensure proper implementation of and compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), the document harmonizing anti-doping rules in all sports and all countries, by International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs).

WADA’s role is therefore at a very high level.

No. WADA is never involved in the individual results management of adverse analytical findings. (An adverse analytical finding is the result of the analysis of a doping control sample that shows the presence of a prohibited substance or method.)

That is the responsibility of the NADO and/or Sports Federation involved in the particular case.

For every adverse analytical finding, WADA receives a certificate of analysis from the WADA accredited laboratory. These certificates of analysis do not include the name of the athlete involved, since all samples analyzed by laboratories are anonymized and identified only by a code number.

Laboratory notifications help WADA follow up with the Anti-Doping Organization (ADO) involved to ensure that its result management of the case properly follows the established rules and processes and is in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

The procedures for results management vary slightly among ADOs (within the framework of articles 7 and 8 of the Code), including when to notify WADA of doping cases and sanctions as well as when and how to make public disclosure of anti-doping rule violations.

The Code (Art. 14.1) specifies that “(…) The athlete’s National Anti-Doping Organization and International Federation and WADA shall also be notified not later than the completion of the process described inArticles 7.1 (Initial Review Regarding Adverse Analytical Findings) through 7.4 (Review of other anti-doping rule violations).

Notification shall include: the athlete’s name, country, sport and discipline within the sport, the athlete's competitive level, whether the test was in-competition or out-of-competition, the date of sample collection and the analytical result reported by the laboratory. The same persons and Anti-Doping Organizations shall be regularly updated on the status and findings of any review (…)”

WADA is not involved in the disciplinary process until after the results management and sanctioning of the athlete are completed by the NADO/IF. This includes any internal appeal or review of a national decision by its IF.

WADA’s role is to assess the sanctioning process followed by the relevant ADO following the completion of the process. Should WADA have any concerns about the process or the result, WADA may exercise its right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). WADA has a right of appeal to CAS for cases under the jurisdiction of organizations that have implemented the Code.

No. It is not part of WADA’s responsibilities or mission to announce the adverse analytical findings of athletes; that is the role of the organization in charge of results management of a particular doping case. WADA does not even know the name of the athlete involved until such information is communicated by the ADO in charge of results management, or publicly announced by the athlete or his/her entourage.

The Code (Art. 14.2) states that “(…) No later than twenty days after it has been determined in a hearing that an anti-doping rule violation has occurred, or such hearing has been waived, or the assertion of an anti-doping rule violation has not been timely challenged, the Anti-Doping Organization responsible for results management must publicly report the disposition of the anti-doping matter.”

Once the relevant ADO has completed its adjudication of a particular doping case, WADA reviews the decision and, if the Agency is of a view that the decision might not comply with the World Anti-Doping Code, the Agency considers whether to exercise its right of appeal to CAS.


While respecting health authority regulations on mobility or physical distancing that have been put in place by local authorities, testing may occur anytime and anywhere.

Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) must put enhanced measures in place, consistent with the recommendations from health care authorities and considering the restrictions in place, to protect your health and that of sample collection personnel. More information can be found in WADA’s Guidance for Testing during COVID-19 Pandemic of 25 November 2020, including further recommended measures such as the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), hand washing and assessing athlete and situational health prior to the commencement of testing.

Firstly, ADOs have been advised that when they conduct testing, sample collection personnel must wash their hands regularly, and sanitize their hands or put on new gloves upon arriving at the testing location. Athletes and sample collection personnel must also wear masks, and as much as possible, maintain the recommended physical distancing requirements as prescribed by local health authorities (one-two metres). In accordance with WADA’s Guidance for Testing during COVID-19 Pandemic of 25 November 2020, ADOs are encouraged to communicate to athletes what specific enhanced precautionary measures they will be taking, as well as collecting information from athletes concerning their health prior to initiating testing. ADOs may have further risk mitigation procedures in place, in line with national or local regulatory guidelines.  

While existing International Standards already emphasize both the integrity of the process and the safety of all concerned, you may see adjustments that seek to strike the balance between the protection of clean competition and personal health. Specifically, WADA’s Guidance for Testing during COVID-19 Pandemic of 25 November 2020 recommends that ADOs deploy a ‘prenotification’ process that may include a self-declaration concerning your health status and/or risks vis-à-vis COVID-19, as well as information on what additional health and safety precautions have been and will be taken by sample collection personnel. WADA is also evaluating what has worked well and what has proved challenging for anti-doping in these unprecedented times. To this end, WADA’s Strategic Testing Expert Advisory Group, which was established in September 2020, is learning from this experience and seeing how the anti-doping system may be strengthened further as a result.

You should prioritize your health and the health of those around you. If you are concerned that you may have acquired the virus, the priority is to self-isolate and follow other precautions (hand washing, wearing a mask, etc.) as recommended by international health organizations. You should contact your local health authorities to ensure that you are following proper procedures in your region, including when and where to seek testing, medical treatment and assisting with possible contact tracing (if applicable). In an anti-doping context, you should advise your ADO of your situation with your whereabouts submission or when sample collection personnel notify you for testing so that they can adjust their plans accordingly.

You must follow the public health authority directives. You should advise your ADO as soon as possible and explain your situation.

Yes, you remain responsible for ensuring you have a valid TUE. If you have difficulty accessing a physician during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to access the necessary documentation to support your TUE application, you should document all actions and impediments to comply with the relevant requirements, and this will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are provisions in the International Standard for TUEs where an athlete may seek a retroactive TUE in urgent or exceptional situations.

Yes, you must continue to provide your whereabouts information. If you wish to share information about your health, self-isolation, mobility restrictions etc., which may impact doping controls, please include this information in your whereabouts submission.

In countries where confinement measures are in place, ADOs are being encouraged to test in only the most appropriate situations, and must exercise sound judgement based on a thorough risk assessment of the situation. Unless there is a mandatory isolation/quarantine or lockdown enforced by national or local government authorities, you are advised to comply with testing while following the preventative measures put in place by your ADO, which should be commensurate with the risks at hand. If you refuse to be tested or if you do not complete the sample collection process after notification; or, if you are not able (or willing) to provide a sample due to a lack of protective measures, your refusal will follow the normal results management process, which may result in a period of ineligibility of up to four years. If you rely on the assistance of a representative to assist with the doping control process (especially for minors or athletes with impairments), and a representative is unavailable due to the impact of COVID-19, this too should be taken into account in the results management process.

WADA is monitoring closely where levels of testing have been reduced altogether and is in close communication with ADOs to work together to find the best ways to be effective during this period. When the sporting landscape returns to a certain normality, these ‘gaps’ in testing will be addressed cooperatively through additional targeted testing especially given that intelligence-gathering and investigations continue. Placing public health above the needs of the anti-doping system means that there may be impacts on the fight against doping in sport. However, there is significantly less training being carried out and significantly fewer competitions taking place. It is also important for athletes to remember that doping control samples continue to be stored for further analysis in the future and that with the Athlete Biological Passport, some samples collected post-COVID-19 may reveal indications of doping that occurred during the period. Finally, you can contribute to anti-doping efforts by ensuring that you are up to date on the latest information and education and encourage your peers and team-mates to do the same. You can familiarize yourself with WADA’s anti-doping education resources by visiting WADA’s Anti-Doping Education and Learning platform, ADEL.

For your own health, for the health of those around you and for the population at large, vaccines against COVID-19 are highly recommended. COVID-19 vaccines are not known to contain any Substance or Method on the Prohibited List or to interfere with anti-doping analysis. WADA continues to closely monitor the situation and the Agency would broadly communicate should this opinion change. 

Any vaccination can create a temporary physiological reaction accompanied with symptoms (e.g. fever, pain at the injection site) but there is no evidence that the vaccines approved to date would create any sustained performance decrease. It should be noted that, there is some evidence that COVID-19 may cause prolonged or lingering health issues in a small percentage of those infected, including in young adults.