List of Prohibited Substances and Methods
Prohibited List 2021 (engl.):
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) produces a list of substances and methods that are banned in sport in the form of the Prohibited List. It is updated at least annually, with the new list taking effect on January 1 of each year.
It is important that Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel are familiar with the Prohibited List and know how to check whether medications are prohibited in sport.
A substance or method can be added to the Prohibited List if it meets two of the following three criteria:
- It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance.
- Use of the substance or method represents an actual or potential health risk to the Athlete.
- Use of the substance or method violates the spirit of sport.
The prohibited list includes substances and methods that are categorised into three groups:
- Substances and methods prohibited at all times
- Substances and methods prohibited in-competition
- Substances prohibited in particular sports
According to the Code, the in-competition is the period commencing at 11:59 p.m. on the day before a Competition in which the Athlete is scheduled to participate through the end of such Competition and the Sample collection process related to such Competition.
The in-competition period is very important to understand when it relates to substances that are prohibited in-competition. When a substance is prohibited in-competition, it must leave the Athlete’s system by the time the said competition begins. It does not mean that the athlete must stop taking the substance by the time the in-competition period begins. Different substances take different amounts of time to leave the system – Athletes must be extremely careful to make sure that they are not caught with a positive test as a result of taking a substance prohibited in-competition.
The Prohibited List is a comprehensive document. Here are a few tips and tricks to help Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel navigate it:
- Not everything on the Prohibited List is a medicine and not every prohibited medicine is listed. Other substances with similar chemical structure or effect can also be prohibited;
- Only the ingredient names are listed, not brand names;
- Check the route of administration of the medicine;
- Check male or female use;
- Check dose restrictions;
- Many natural products are not specifically listed;
- Be careful when substituting one brand of medication for another – they may contain different medical ingredients;
- Be careful when travelling – the same brand of a medication may contain different medical ingredients abroad;
- Regularly check for updates to the Prohibited List.
Further information on the Prohibited List can be found here.
The FIL will only allow an athlete to use a prohibited substance for medical reasons if the athlete has a valid Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the substance that the FIL has granted or recognized.
Before taking any medication, please make sure to check with your prescribing physician that it does not contain a prohibited substance.
Useful Online Databases*
The following online country-specific drug reference databases are also available for checking the status of a medication bought in that country.
o GlobalDRO* (for Canada, UK, USA, Japan and Australia)
* Important note: the FIL and WADA do not take responsibility for the information provided on these websites.