Many medications contain substances which are on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List, which means athletes cannot take them unless they have special permission (a Therapeutic Use Exemption).
As a medical professional it’s vital that you check whether a medication is permitted in sport before you prescribe it to an athlete. If an athlete returns a positive test as a result of taking a medication it could have dire consequences: they could be banned from all sport; their reputation will suffer and it could spell the end of their career.
Whenever you treat an athlete you should check whether a medication is permitted in the following ways:
- visiting Drug Free Sport NZ’s medications check
- text the name of the medication or active ingredient to 4365
- phoning 0800 DRUGFREE (378 437).
If a medication is prohibited in sport, you should use an alternative and permitted medication where possible. If an alternative is not an option, then the athlete needs a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in order to take the medication.
Athletes who are competing at a national or international level will need a TUE before they take a medication.