Therapeutic Use Exemptions

There is a process which allows athletes to take medication containing a prohibited substance if they need to for medical reasons.  This is called the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process.

Athletes may need to apply for a TUE if they get sick or injured and require medication or if they have an ongoing medical condition that requires treatment, such as diabetes or asthma.

If athletes compete at ”national” or “international” level, they will  need to apply for a TUE before they take medication which contains a prohibited substance.  

Other athletes who may be tested and return a positive test due to a medication, are able to apply for a retroactive TUE (this means they can apply after they have been tested). However, they will still need to meet the criteria before a TUE will be granted.

We've outlined the TUE process below, but you can also check out our frequently asked questions about TUEs here.

The TUE process

1.    An athlete visits a medical professional with a complaint and is advised they need a specific medication.

2.    Check the status of the medication required by:

3.    If the substance is prohibited, the medical professional should see whether there are any alternative medication which could be used

4.    If there’s NO ALTERNATIVE, a TUE application must be completed (in emergency situations treatment may begin immediately)

5.    Download an application form from Drug Free Sport NZ or call us to check whether the athlete needs to apply to his or her International Federation   

6.    The application must be completed in full by a medical practitioner (preferably the prescribing doctor) and all relevant supporting documentation attached. (Note that most applications require specialist support)

7.    Submit the application to:

  • email
  • Fax: +64 9 580 0381 or PO Box 17451, Greenlane, Auckland 1546
  • the athlete’s International Federation if appropriate

8.    The application will be reviewed

9.    The athlete and medical professional will be told whether the application has been accepted or rejected.  The athlete will be told of any conditions including the date of expiry and restrictions on the use of the medication.

Drug Free Sport endeavours to process TUE applications as quickly as possible and we aim for a two-day turn-around, but you should aim to get a TUE application in as soon as possible.