Medications

Injury and illness are part of life as an athlete and there will be times when you’ll need to take medication because you’re injured or sick. 

Or you may have an ongoing condition that requires you to take regular medication, such as asthma, diabetes, ADHD or Crohn’s disease. 

Many medications, including those that can be bought over the counter, may contain substances which are prohibited in sport so athletes need to be careful about medications they take.

Those who are competing at a national or international level need to apply for special permission to use medications which contain prohibited substances before they use them (this means they need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption or TUE).  

If you’re not at this stage yet, you don’t need to worry about applying for special permission to use certain medications (a TUE).  But if you’re tested and you return a positive test due to a medication which contains a prohibited substance, you may need to apply for a TUE.

At this point in your sporting career, you need to be aware of the World Anti-Doping Code’s policy of “strict liability”, which means you are responsible for everything you consume whether you intend to cheat or not.

This means that as your sporting career develops, you’ll need to:

  • get into the habit of checking whether medicines, supplements, vitamins, or herbal remedies contain substances that are prohibited in sport
  • think carefully about whether you really need to take supplements or herbal remedies because they could contain prohibited substances
  • let medical professionals know that you’re an athlete who could be subject to drug testing in sport and ask that they prescribe medication that is permitted in sport.