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Therapeutic Use Exemptions

About Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)

Wheelchair basketball match.

A Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) allows you to take a medication containing a banned substance if you need to for medical reasons.

You may need to apply for a TUE if you get sick or injured, or if you have an ongoing medical condition such as diabetes or asthma, and the medication you need is banned in sport.

Some athletes must apply for a TUE in advance (i.e. before using any banned medications or methods). Others can only apply retroactively (i.e. after a positive test).

Getting a TUE can protect you from an anti-doping sanction if a banned substance is found in your sample.

TUEs are only granted if an athlete will gain no unfair advantage by using the banned substance or method. It’s also important that an athlete's well-being is not put at further risk by using the medication.

What to do

  • Tell your doctor that you're an athlete and subject to anti-doping rules;
  • If prescribed a medication containing a banned ingredient, ask for a permitted alternative;
  • Know your TUE status (in-advance or retroactive);
  • Keep detailed medical notes for any diagnoses or treatments that involve a banned substance or method;
  • In an emergency, always get the treatment you need.

Ready to apply for a TUE?

Download TUE application form

Check your TUE status

In-advance vs retroactive


Some athletes must have a TUE before they take a banned substance. This includes:

  • Athletes selected for New Zealand Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games teams;
  • Athletes who have been registered, qualified, selected, named or contracted to compete in specific teams and/or national events listed in the 'In-advance criteria table (by sport)' - see above.

If you’re competing internationally, check with your Federation and be clear about your responsibilities around TUEs. You may have to apply for a TUE from your International Federation rather than from us. Find out more about this below under ‘International-level athletes’. f you compete at a national level in another country, check the NADO’s rules in that country, as they may require an in-advance TUE.

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


A retroactive TUE is one that's granted after an athlete has tested positive.

Retroactive TUEs are available to those competing at levels that aren't listed in the 'In-advance criteria table (by sport)'. You'll need to meet the criteria and supply comprehensive medical documents before a TUE can be granted.

You may apply to us for a retroactive TUE if:

  • You needed emergency or urgent treatment for 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;
  • You weren't allowed or required to apply in advance for a TUE as per the anti-doping rules;
  • You're a lower-level athlete who was tested but isn't under the jurisdiction of an International Federation or National Anti-Doping Organization;
  • You tested positive after using a substance out-of-competition that was only prohibited in-competition (e.g tramadol or glucocorticoids).

In rare and exceptional circumstances (and notwithstanding any other provision in the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions) 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 banned substance or method without a TUE could result in an anti-doping sanction. Keep all your medical notes in case you need to apply for a retroactive TUE.

See the Checklist for TUE applications

TUE details