Resources for Athletes

The UIAA is committed to promoting clean climbing and the fight against doping. The information on this page provides athletes competing in UIAA-sanctioned competitions with the latest WADA guidelines and information concerning doping procedures, rules and regulations. For details on the UIAA Anti-Doping Commission and their work please visit the dedicated page.

Athletes Rights and Responsibilities

Athlete Rights

  1. Have a representative and if available, an interpreter.
  2. Ask for additional information about the Sample collection process.
  3. Request a delay in reporting to the Doping Control Station for valid reasons (as determined by the Doping Control Officer).
  4. If you are an athlete with an impairment, request modifications to the Sample collection procedure.

Athlete Responsibilities

  1. Remain within direct observation of the DCO/Chaperone at all times from the point initial contact is made.
  2. by the DCO/Chaperone until the completion of the Sample collection procedure.
  3. Produce appropriate identification.
  4. Comply with Sample collection procedures – failure to do so may constitute an Anti- Doping Rule Violation.
  5. Report immediately for Sample collection, unless there are valid reasons. for a delay

The principle of strict liability

Strict Liability: The rule which provides that under Article 2.1 and Article 2.2, it is not necessary that intent, Fault, negligence, or knowing Use on the Athlete’s part be demonstrated by the Anti-Doping Organization in order to establish an anti-doping rule violation. This means that every athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in their urine and/or blood sample collected during doping control, regardless of whether the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or method.

Substances and methods on the Prohibited List

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 athletes can find the 2023 WADA Prohibited List.

Consequences of Doping

The spirit of sport is expressed in how we clean climb and respect the sport. Doping is fundamentally contrary to the spirit of sport. Doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the anti-doping rule violations set forth in Article 2.1 through Article 2.11 of UIAA antidoping rules.  Consequences of Doping can be physical and mental health, social and economic effects, and sanctions.

Physical and Mental Health consequences

Medications are for people with specific health issues – not for healthy athletes. These medications are not approved to be used by healthy people, in higher doses nor in combination with other substances. Taking them when your body doesn’t need them can cause harm to your body and terminate your athletic career. Some banned substances which athletes have also used are not medications.

There are side effects, and we will mention some of them.

  • Physiological and psychological side effects of anabolic steroid include liver damage, premature closure of the growth centres of long bones (in adolescents) which may result in stunted growth, increased aggressiveness, sometimes resulting in abnormal sexual and criminal behaviour, often associated with depression and anxiety, and in some cases, suicide.
  • Selective androgen receptor modulators may cause organ failures.
  • Human growth hormones can cause hypertension, heart attacks, thyroid problems, severe headaches, loss of vision, acromegaly (protruding or enlarged jaw, brow, skull, hands and feet),high blood pressure and heart failure, diabetes and tumours.
  • Blood doping can cause increased stress on the heart, blood clotting, strokes, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism. stimulants can cause insomnia, anxiety, weight loss, dependence and addiction, dehydration, tremors, increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiac arrhythmia.

 Social and Economic consequences

  • Loss of sponsorship deals
  • Loss of income
  • Athlete and or teammates may be stripped of previous achievements.
  • Damage to future career prospects
  • Isolation from peers and sport
  • Damaged relationships with friends and family
  • Effects on emotional and psychological well-being
  • Permanent damage to reputation from bad media publicity which can lead to public contempt.
  • Loss of standing, respect and credibility and lastly
  • Pressure placed on athlete as well as persons close to athlete e.g. family members and support personnel


For Anti-Doping Rule Violations of presence or use of a prohibited substance, the basic rules are as follows:

  • If athletes intended to cheat, whatever the substance, the period of ineligibility is four years
  • Otherwise, it is two years – unless athlete can show he/she had no significant fault or negligence, in which case ineligibility may be reduced by up to a maximum of one year (that is, to a minimum ineligibility of one year)
  • If the violation involved a specified substance or a contaminated product, and athlete can demonstrate he/she had no significant fault, ineligibility may range from two years to a reprimand (depending on your level of fault)
  • If athlete can show he/she had no fault or negligence, the period of ineligibility may be eliminated entirely, resulting in no ban from sport.
  • Athlete should also be aware that multiple Anti-Doping Rule Violations, or the presence of multiple substances may increase the sanction he/she face beyond four years.
  • For some Anti-Doping Rule Violations, the penalty can be a life ban from sport.

Anti-doping rule violations

There are 11 anti-doping rule violations

  1. Presence of Prohibited Substance: Presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample
  2. Use of Prohibited Substance/Method: Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or method
  3. 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
  4. 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)
  5. Tampering: Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of the doping control process
  6. Possession: Possession of a prohibited substance and prohibited method
  7. Trafficking: Trafficking or attempted trafficking in any prohibited substance or method
  8. 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.
  9. Complicity (assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation)
  10. Prohibited association
  11. Acts by an Athlete or Other Person to Discourage or Retaliate Against Reporting to Authorities

Risk of supplement use

WADA and other anti-doping organizations do not approve, certify, or endorse any supplement products. Ultimately, this means that taking a supplement can cause an athlete to test positive. Taking a supplement may also be harmful to athlete health and may have a negative effect on performance. The reality is that the use of dietary supplements can be risky, and that awareness and caution must be exercised when considering their use.


Athletes, like all people, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications or undergo procedures. If the medication or method an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to fall on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the authorization to take a substance or use a method that is prohibited.

Applications for TUEs are reviewed by a panel of experts, the TUE Committee (TUEC) who may give such permission.

The following guide makes essential reading and provides the following information:
– What are the criteria for granting a TUE?
– Who should apply for the TUE to the UIAA, where and when?
– How to apply to the UIAA for a TUE?
– How to submit a request for recognition of NADO’s TUE to the UIAA?
– When will I receive a decision on my TUE application (or request for recognition)?
– How about the renewal of my TUE?
– What if my UIAA TUE application is denied?
– What if my NADO’S TUE is not recognised by the UIAA?
– Confidentiality

Contact Information
If you have a doubt as regards to which organization you should apply for a TUE, or as to the recognition process, or any other question with regard to TUEs, please contact:

Dr Marija Andjelkovic
UIAA Anti-Doping Commission President

Requirements of the Registered Testing Pool, including whereabouts and the use of ADAMS

In accordance with WADA’s International Standards for Testing & Investigation, the ISMF has created the Registered Testing Pool (RTP). The RTP of highest-priority Athletes established separately at the international level by ISMF and at the national level by NADO, who are subject to focused In-Competition and Out-of-Competition Testing and therefore are required to provide whereabouts information as provided in Article 5.6 of the Code and the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (WADA International Standard for Testing and Investigations 2023).

Athletes who are chosen to be in Registered testing pool need to provide whereabouts information. Providing whereabouts is about protecting right to clean sport. Whereabouts information gives the ISMF the ability to locate athletes with no notice. Knowing where athletes can be found for testing is crucial for ensuring effective anti-doping program. Athletes in registered testing pool are asked to provide whereabouts information to ISMF about:

  • home address
  • training information and locations
  • competition schedules
  • regular personal activities such as work or school.

For those athletes included in a RTP, one 60-minute time period a day, where athlete will be available for testing, must also be provided.

WADA’s Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS), is an online tool that athletes can access anytime and anywhere to update their whereabouts information. ADAMS is free, easy to use, and its multi-level access control ensures the privacy and security of information.

Speaking Up to share concerns about doping

In March 2017, the World Anti-Doping Agency launched on its website a specific section called “Speak Up!”.

Designed to protect clean athletes, this section can be used to report information on any suspected breach of the World Anti-Doping Code

We would like to inform our stakeholders, including but not limited to athletes and athletes’ support personnel, that they can get in touch with WADA and share information related to doping in total confidence.

Through its website, anti-doping intelligence captured or received is handled securely and confidentially, sources of intelligence are protected, the risk of leaks or inadvertent disclosure is properly addressed, and intelligence shared with you by law enforcement, other relevant authorities and/or other third parties, is processed, used and disclosed only for legitimate anti-doping purposes.