FAQ: Doping Control

What is doping?

Doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the following anti-doping rule violations:
01. Presence of Prohibited Substance:
Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample
02. Use of Prohibited Substance/Method:
Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or method
03. Refusing Sample Collection:
Refusing, or failing without compelling justification, to submit to sample collection after notification as authorized in applicable anti-doping rules, or otherwise evading sample collection
04. Failure to File Whereabouts & Missed Tests:
Violation of applicable requirements regarding athlete availability for out-of-competition testing, including failure to file required whereabouts information and missed tests (i.e., any combination of three missed tests and/or filing failures within an 18-month period may be deemed a doping violation)
05. Tampering:
Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of the doping control process
06. Possession:
Possession of a prohibited substance and prohibited method
07. Trafficking:
Trafficking or attempted trafficking in any prohibited substance or method
08. Administration:
Administration or attempted administration to an athlete of a prohibited substance and/or method; or assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up or any other type of complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation or any attempted anti-doping rule violation.

What substances and methods are banned?

The List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List), updated annually by WADA, is the International Standard defining what is prohibited in- and out-of-competition. The List also indicates whether particular substances are banned in particular sports. Here you can find The 2014 Prohibited List

What else should athletes know about banned substances and methods?
Athletes should always check with their IF to find out what additional substances and methods are prohibited in their sport.

Also, athletes should always make their doctor aware that they are bound by the specific rules of their sport. Those who are unsure of what a product contains should not take it until they are sure it is not prohibited. Ignorance is never an excuse.

What should athletes know about using supplements?

Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use. It is WADA’s position that a good diet is of utmost importance to athletes. The use of dietary supplements by athletes is a concern because, in many countries, the manufacturing and labelling of products may not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing an undeclared substance that is prohibited under anti-doping regulations. A significant number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse of supplements, and taking a poorly labelled dietary supplement is not an adequate defence in a doping hearing.

What about medical conditions?

Athletes, like all others, may at times experience a medical condition that requires them to use particular medicines. The substances that an athlete may be required to take to treat a condition could fall under the List. However, by applying and obtaining a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) from the IF or NADO, an athlete may be allowed to take the necessary medicine. Athletes who need to apply for a TUE should request more information about the TUE application process from their IF (for international-level athletes) or NADO (for national-level athletes).
Here you can find more information about Therapeutic use exemptions (TUE).

What are doping controls?

Worldwide doping controls—or athlete testing—are carried out in accordance with the Code and the International Standard for Testing (IST). Athletes who compete at the international and national level may be tested anytime, anywhere. Specially trained and accredited doping control personnel carry out all tests.

01.    Athlete Selection
02.    Notification
03.    Reporting to the Doping Control Station
04.    Selection of a Collection Vessel
05.    Provision of Sample
06.    Volume of Urine
07.    Selection of a Sample Collection Kit
08.    Splitting the Sample
09.    Sealing the Samples
10.    Measuring Specific Gravity
11.    Completion of the Doping Control Form
12.    The Laboratory Process

Check out the World Anti-Doping Agency movie about the doping control process for athletes

What is in-competition testing?

ADOs coordinate in-competition testing so that there is only one organization testing at an event. Unless provided otherwise in the rules of the relevant IF or event ruling body, in-competition means the period commencing 12 hours before a competition in which the athlete is scheduled to participate through the end of the competition and the sample collection process related to the competition.

Criteria for the selection of athletes is pre-determined, based on the regulations of the relevant IF or event ruling body. Sample collection takes place in accordance with the IST. Athletes are notified of their selection for testing. Samples are analyzed for "in-competition substances” as outlined in the Prohibited List.

What is out-of-competition testing?

Out-of-competition testing, or any testing done outside of an event, ensures that athletes can be tested at any time and at any place.

Visit UIAA Anti-doping page.

For more information, contact your sports federation or your National or Regional Anti-Doping Organization. Additional athlete resources, including the following, are available on WADA’s Web site.

• The World Anti-Doping Code
• The Prohibited List and other International Standards
• Publications about TUE requirements, the doping control process
• The Anti-Doping Quiz, an online interactive game about anti-doping