Seeing your medical professional

Whenever you see a medical professional, whether it be your GP; another doctor; a specialist; a surgeon; a dentist; a chemist;  or a physiotherapist, it’s your responsibility to let them know that you’re an athlete who could be subject to drug testing.

You should always insist that your medical professional checks whether any medication you’re prescribed is permitted in sport.

Remember under the sports anti-doping rules you are responsible for any prohibited substance found in your sample, whether you intend to cheat or not.

You can find out more about what to discuss with your medical professional here:

Seeing your GP

Your GP or family doctor is the medical professional you’re most likely to see when you’re sick or injured . 

Make sure they know you’re an athlete who could be drug tested and that this means all medications you take need to be checked to ensure they are allowed in sport.  

When visiting your GP:

  • tell them you’re an athlete who could be drug tested
  • ask for a note to be placed on your medical records to clarify your status as an athlete who is subject to drug testing in sport
  • insist that your GP check whether the medication is prohibited in sport by checking with Drug Free Sport NZ
  • if you require a medication that contains a prohibited substance, ask for an alternative medication
  • if there’s no alternative the doctor must apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption before you take the medication (unless treatment is urgent)
  • if your GP refers you to a specialist, ask them to let the specialist know you’re an athlete who is subject to drug testing.

Seeing your surgeon

If you require surgery, it’s likely you’ll be given a range of medicines which are prohibited in sport.  

For example, painkillers such as Morphine and Fentanyl, and Glucocorticoids such as Dexamethasoneare commonly used in surgery.  These are prohibited in sporting competition.

If you need surgery, we recommend you follow the process below to ensure you don’t inadvertently return a positive test once you return to competition.   

What to do when having surgery:

  • tell the surgeon and anaesthetist that you are an athlete who could be drug tested in sport
  • ask for a note to be placed on your medical records stating that you’re an athlete subject to drug testing in sport
  • be aware that you may be given medicine before surgery to help you prepare for the operation and that many medications used during surgery are prohibited in sport  
  • ask your surgeon and anaesthetist for a list of possible medicines you may be given and check the status of these with DFSNZ on 0800 DRUGFREE (374 437)
  • insist your surgeon or anaesthetist check whether the medicines they want to use are prohibited in sport by referring DFSNZ
  • if you need to have medication that’s prohibited in sport, your doctor will need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) BEFORE you take the medicine.  Check with DFSNZ
  • during follow-up after surgery, remind those treating you that you are subject to drug testing and ask for a list of the medications that were used
  • as part of your recovery, you may be prescribed further medication, always check the status of these medicines and apply for a TUE if you need to.

Seeing your dentist

If you need dental treatment, you need to be aware that there are a few medicines that could be used which are prohibited in sport.

Again, painkillers and Glucocorticoids (such as Dexamethasone) can be used in dental work. These are prohibited in-competition.

You need to work with your dentist to ensure that he or she understands you’re an athlete who may be drug tested.

What to do when visiting the dentist:

  • tell the dentist that you are an athlete who could be drug tested
  • ask for a note to be placed on your dental records stating that you’re an athlete subject to drug testing in sport.
  • the majority of medications used in dental surgery are prohibited in-competition,
  • ask your dentist  for a list of possible medicines you may be given and check the status of these with DFSNZ on 0800 DRUGFREE (374 437)
  • ask your dentist to check whether the medicines they want to use are prohibited in sport by calling DFSNZ
  • if you need to have medication that’s prohibited in sport, you may need to have your dentist apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) BEFORE you take the medicine.  Check with DFSNZ
  • during recovery you may be prescribed further medication - always check these medications before using them and apply for a TUE if you need to.

Accident and Emergency

There may be a time when you’re in an accident or you fall ill and you need emergency treatment.

In emergency situations, your health and welfare must come first.  

Never refuse medication in an emergency.  Accident and Emergency staff will treat you as best they can.  They may give you medications immediately and then discuss the fact that you are an athlete subject to drug testing in sport afterwards. 

Any requirements for a Therapeutic Use Exemption can be arranged after treatment in an emergency situation. This must be completed by the treating physician.

What to do when visiting A&E:

  • If you are able to, tell the doctors/nurses that you are an athlete who could be drug tested
  • Ask for a note to be placed on your medical records stating that you’re an athlete subject to drug testing
  • Check your medication by calling Drug Free Sport NZ on 0800DRUGFREE (378437).
  • If you require a medication that is prohibited in sport, have the doctor apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)
  • If it is not possible to apply for TUE before taking medication, apply for a TUE as soon as practical after you’ve been treated.  This will need to be completed by the doctor who has been treating you.