The Prohibited List is divided into three categories:
1) Substances and methods that are prohibited at all times, both in-competition and out of competition
2) Substances and methods that are prohibited only during the in-competition period
3) Substances and methods that are prohibited only in certain sports
It is important to know and understand the definition of the in-competition period for your sport – this can be found in the Anti-Doping Rules of your International Federation (IF). Most IFs use the following definition: “The in-competition period is the period commencing at 11:59 p.m. on the day before a Competition in which the Athlete is scheduled to participate through to the end of such Competition and the Sample collection process related to such Competition”.
One key point to remember about medications prohibited in-competition is that the athlete should stop using them well in advance of the event in order for the substance to leave their system.
Navigating the Prohibited List can be overwhelming for both the athletes and their support personnel. Below we outline some of the key points you should remember when checking medications.
PRESCRIPTION VS. OVER-THE-COUNTER
Both medications that require a prescription and those that can be bought over the counter can appear on the Prohibited List – make sure you check everything that you take!
INFORMING YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Athletes should remind their doctors that they are an athlete and are subject to anti-doping regulations, especially when receiving a treatment or a consultation outside the context of sport. Even a dentist may prescribe a prohibited medication!
IN-COMPETITION VS. OUT-OF-COMPETITION
Remember that different substances take different amounts of time to leave your system – take that into account when taking substances prohibited in-competition.
DOSAGE AND ROUTE OF ADMINISTRATION
Some medications are prohibited in certain doses and by certain routes of administration. For example, an asthma pump may be allowed, but in limited dosage and for a fixed time period. The route of administration refers to how a medication is taken e.g. as a tablet, a cream, an injection etc. If the medication you are taking is subject to any of these limitations, carefully monitor your intake.
Some brand names offer multiple variations of the same product and some pharmacies offer different brands of the same type of medication. There is a real risk that one will contain a prohibited substance while another may not. Make sure you take exactly what was recommended and check the product again if you are changing brands or planning to take a different variation of a medication.
What is allowed in one country may be prohibited in another, and medications of the same brand may have different ingredients in another country. If you need to purchase a medication in a foreign country, make sure you check it again – even if it looks similar to the product that you take at home.