Therapeutic Use Exemptions
About Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
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.
Some athletes must apply for their TUE in advance, before they begin using any prohibited medications or methods. Other athletes can apply retroactively.
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.
Use the table below to find out the levels of competition at which a TUE is required in advance.
About the TUE process
- You tell your medical professional that you’re an athlete who could be drug tested and ask them to bear this in mind when prescribing medication.
- Check the status of any prescribed medication or method. Find out how at Medications and methods.
- If the substance or method is prohibited, ask your doctor if there are any alternatives that could be used.
- If there’s no alternative, you may need to apply for a TUE before you use the medication or method. Find out whether you need to apply in advance under 'When to apply in advance'. If it is an emergency, treatment may begin immediately.
- Download an application form.
Your 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.)
- Submit your TUE application to us via email or it send your TUE to your International Federation if appropriate. You can also send it to us by post or fax. Check out contact details.
- Your application will be reviewed.
- You and your medical professional will be told whether the application has been accepted or rejected. You will be told of any conditions, including the date of expiry and restrictions on the use of the medication.
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 (above).
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.
Not sure what level athlete you are?
Email us at email@example.com, call us 0800 DRUGFREE (378 437) or contact your National Sport Organisation to check.
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 above. It is important to remember that you will still need to meet the criteria before a TUE can be granted.
Download the infographic: Do I need to apply in advance?
Your medical practitioner will need to provide a information in support of your TUE application. This includes:
- Comprehensive medical evidence to justify the use of the treatment, preferably from a specialist;
- Confirmation that permitted alternative medications have been tried.
The medical evidence you need to supply is dependent on your condition. WADA offer guidance for many common medical conditions. Before you make your application, please read the relevant WADA TUE checklist.
If your medication or condition is not listed, please ask your director to review WADA's Medical information to support the decisions of TUECs.
When we receive all the information we receive, we generally process applications within five working days. Without all the information required, your application will be delayed. Please check all evidence has been included before you send your TUE form.
The TUE Committee must consider the following:
- Will you experience significant health problems if you don’t take the medication?
- Will the substance significantly enhance your sporting performance?
- Is there no reasonable and permitted alternative medication you could take for the illness or condition?
If granted, a TUE will only be valid for the specific medication and for a certain time period. Make sure you understand the restrictions that apply.
If you have a serious accident or you require emergency medical treatment, don’t hesitate. Your health always comes first and you should get whatever medical help you need immediately.
Do advise all medical staff that you’re an athlete who could be drug tested and ask them to check whether all medications are prohibited in sport. And if you do require a prohibited substance or method for the sake of your health, make a TUE application immediately after treatment. This is known as a retroactive TUE.
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.
|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 competition squad (men) Bunnings Cup squad (men) Farah Palmer Cup (women)||All Blacks and All Blacks 7s Squads (men) -Black Ferns and Black Ferns 7s Squads (women)||World Rugby|
|Snow Sports||N/A||Snow Sports NZ HPSNZ carded 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 HPSNZ Carded Athletes||ITU|
|Weightlifting||Athletes who compete in the senior category at the OWNZ Senior and Junior National Championships||Athletes competing in an IWF event||IWF|