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Therapeutic Use Exemptions

About Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)

Wheelchair basketball match.

There is a process that allows you to take a medication containing a banned substance if you need to for medical reasons. It's called a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

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

Getting a TUE may protect athletes from receiving a sanction if a prohibited substance is found in their sample. An exemption is only granted if the athlete will gain no unfair advantage by using the banned substance or method. It’s also important that the athlete’s wellbeing is not put at further risk by using the medication.

Some athletes must apply for their TUE in advance, before they begin using any prohibited medications or methods. Other athletes can apply retroactively.

To confirm when you need to apply, refer to 'When to Apply In Advance' and then use the table below to find out the sports/levels of competition at which a TUE is required in advance by DFSNZ criteria.

Check the status of common medications

Download TUE application form

In-advance or retroactive?

TUE in advance criteria - explained in text below.

In advance TUEs

Some athletes must have a TUE in advance. This includes:

Athletes in the DFSNZ Registered Testing Pool or National Testing Pool;

Athletes selected New Zealand Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games team;

Athletes who have been registered, qualified, selected, named or contracted to compete in specific teams and/or national events listed in the TUEs in advance table.

If you’re competing internationally you should check with your Federation and be clear about your responsibilities around TUE. You may have to apply for a TUE from your International Federation rather than DFSNZ. Find out more about this under ‘International-level athletes’.

Not sure what level athlete you are? Email us at or contact your National Sport Organisation to check.

Retroactive TUEs

A retroactive TUE is a one that is granted after a positive test has occurred. Retroactive TUEs are available to athletes competing at levels other than those listed as 'in advance'. It is important to remember that you will still need to meet the criteria and supply comprehensive medical documents before a TUE can be granted.

You may apply retroactively for a TUE to Drug Free Sport New Zealand if:

  • You required emergency or urgent treatment of a medical condition.
  • There was insufficient time, opportunity or other exceptional circumstances that prevented you from submitting the TUE application, or having it evaluated, before getting tested.
  • As per Drug Free Sport New Zealand anti-doping rules, you were not permitted or required to apply in advance for a TUE.
  • You are a lower level athlete who is not under the jurisdiction of an International Federation or National Anti-Doping Organization and were tested.
  • You tested positive after using a substance Out-of-Competition that was only prohibited In-Competition (for example glucocorticoids).

In rare and exceptional circumstances and notwithstanding any other provision in the ISTUE, you may apply for and be granted retroactive approval for a therapeutic use of a prohibited substance or method, if considering the purpose of the Code, it would be manifestly unfair not to grant a retroactive TUE.

This unique retroactive TUE will only be granted with the prior approval of WADA (and WADA may in its absolute discretion agree with or reject the Drug Free Sport New Zealand’s decision).

Important note: Using a prohibited substance or method without a TUE could result in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. In case an application for a retroactive TUE is necessary following sample collection, you are strongly advised to have a medical file prepared and ready to submit for evaluation.

About the TUE process

TUE in-advance criteria by sport

TUE in advance

This table shows the levels of sports at which a TUE is required before an athlete takes a medication containing prohibited substances. If your sport and competition/level appears in the table, you need a TUE in advance.

This does not apply to medical emergencies.

Sport National International IF
Athletics Athletes who enter in the senior category at the National Track and Field Championships Black Singlet competitions World Athletics
Basketball Athletes who are selected in the Breakers Squad Athletes who are selected in the National Basketball League (men and women). Tall Blacks Squad (men) Tall Ferns Squad (women) FIBA
Canoeing Athletes who enter in the Open Age category at the Canoe Sprint National Championships Athletes selected in the Canoe Racing NZ Open National team (men and women). ICF
Cricket Plunket Shield, 50 Over and T20 Competitions (men) Women’s One Day and T20 competitions Black Caps contracted player list White Ferns Squad contracted player list ICC
Cycling Athletes who enter in the Elite category at National Championship events (includes road, track, mountain bike and BMX championships) Athletes selected to compete at the elite level at a World Championship event (includes road, track, mountain bike and BMX) UCI
Football Athletes selected for the Wellington Phoenix Squad Men’s National League Squad (8 teams who reach Championship phase) Women's National League Squad All Whites Squad (Men) Football Ferns Squad (Women) FIFA
Hockey National Hockey Championship – Tier 1 (men and women) Black Sticks Squad (men and women) FIH
Netball ANZ Premiership Silver Ferns Squad INF
Rowing Premier grade at the New Zealand National Rowing Championships Athletes selected in the NZ Rowing Team (elite) FISA
Rugby League NZ Warriors Squad and the Warriors Women Squad (As of 2022 season: Athletes who compete in the Premiership (tier 1) division of the National Rugby League Competition (men and women). Athletes selected in the NZ Kiwis Squad (men) or the Kiwi Ferns squad (women) RLIF
Rugby Union Super Rugby Pacific (men) Bunnings Cup squad (men) Super Rugby Aupiki (women) All Blacks and All Blacks 7s Squads (men) -Black Ferns and Black Ferns 7s Squads (women) World Rugby
Snow Sports Snow Sports NZ Team/Invested Athletes FIS
Swimming Open Age category at the NZ Open Championships Swimming NZ HPSNZ Carded Athletes FINA
Triathlon Elite (standard distance) category at the National Triathlon Championships Tri NZ High Performance (Carded) Athletes ITU
Weightlifting Athletes who have qualified at A Grade and above and entered WNZ Junior/Senior National Championships Athletes competing in an IWF event IWF