Frequently Asked Questions On Prohibited Substances
What can I take if I have a cold or the flu?
Can I be excused when taking medicine to get well? If an athlete has a cold, flu, or hay fever there are a number of permitted medications. Ensure medications do not contain other prohibited stimulants by checking Drug Reference Online. The antihistamines are, in general, permitted as are cough medications and some decongestants purchased over-the-counter.
What if I need to take something for minor pain?
Slight to moderate pain can be effectively treated using non-narcotic drugs. Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aleve, and Celebrex) are permitted. They have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-killing) actions. But be reminded that you must still declare any medication you have taken on your Doping Control Form in the event of a test.
What do I do if I need to take a painkiller for an injury?
For management of more severe pain there are a number of substances that are permitted in specified doses, such as Codeine, Propoxyphene, Ultram, and Hydrocodone. For other narcotics, the athlete should ensure the medication they are considering is not prohibited or if a Therapeutic Use Exemption is required. Narcotics are only tested in-competition and are not tested in the out-of-competition menu. Again, always declare any substance taken on your Doping Control Form at the time of the test.
Can I use medication that has been prescribed by a doctor?
Some medications prescribed by physicians for treatment of legitimate medical conditions may be prohibited. A prohibited substance is still prohibited, even if prescribed by a doctor. If this substance is found in a Shooter’s sample, it does not matter if the doctor prescribed it, the Shooter will be responsible. Shooters are advised to promptly apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption before using any medication prescribed by their doctor.
ISSF does not prohibit treatment by a physician; ISSF prohibits the use of certain substances that may be provided to you by your physician in the course of treatment. ISSF follows the information on the status of medication only as provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency and according to the rules governing competition in sport. Always ask about the substance that is given to you, always apply for a TUE before its use and do not take it if there is any doubt as to its ingredients.
What should I do if a prohibited medication is needed?
Alternative medications that are not prohibited may be available and can be used for treatment. An athlete's personal physician may not be aware of the drug restrictions in sports. The athlete should check with his or her National Anti-Doping Organization as they typically are aware of the drug restrictions in any given country.
There may be cases where the medication is essential and no permitted alternatives exist. In those circumstances a TUE may be requested from the ISSF if you are an international-level athlete or to your NADO if you are a national-level athlete. Submission of a request does not mean automatic approval of a TUE. You should always submit an application for a TUE no less than 30 days in advance of a competition.
If you are not a nationally ranked or international level Shooter, and are over the age of 40 and require the use of beta-blockers to treat a documented medical condition, in accordance with the International Standard for Therapeutic Sue Exemptions your National Anti-Doping Organization may grant a national level TUE that will be recognized by ISSF.
How can I know which medications can be taken?
Consult the WADA Prohibited List. Ask questions. Contact your National Anti-Doping Organisation. Do on-line searches. Use any means available to you to find out if the medication or supplement you wish to take is safe to use.
Do not take any unknown substances (e.g., from a friend or acquaintance who offers something to help) and never take a family member's prescription. The use of foreign medications is strongly discouraged.
Do herbal remedies contain prohibited substances?
Herbal remedies have been found to contain prohibited stimulants or other substances which may not be listed on the label. These products vary greatly and a guarantee cannot be given as to their safety or acceptability in sport. As a general rule, you are best to avoid taking herbal remedies unless you are sure that they contain no prohibited substances.
If I am a coach, trainer, official or support person to a Shooter or team, do I also need to follow the list of prohibited substances?
Although the anti-doping rules and testing only apply to athletes, the World Anti-Doping Program places a great deal of responsibility on officials and athlete support personnel to encourage drug-free sport. You do not need to complete a TUE application for your medication or avoid the use of prohibited medication for therapeutic use. It is your responsibility to support athletes and impress upon them to check their medications. Officials and support personnel that encourage doping or help to administer prohibited substances may face sanctions in accord with the World Anti-Doping Code.