FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES AND TUEs
What can I take if I have a cold or the flu?
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 various Online Drug References. 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.
Can I use medication that has been prescribed by a doctor?
Some medications prescribed by physicians for treatment of legitimate medical conditions or injuries 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 without the granting of a TUE. 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.
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 in lieu of prohibited substances. Ask your physician about these alternatives.
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 National Anti-Doping Organization if you are a national-level athlete. Submission of a TUE application 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.
Also, in order to encourage an aging population of shooters to continue participating in shooting-sport events, in those limited instances where a shooter is 40 years of age or older and requires the use of beta blockers to treat a valid and well documented medical condition but still wishes to compete in some regional shooting events, so long as the shooter is neither a nationally ranked nor an international-level athlete, and where national regulations and the ISTUE allow for such exemptions, a National Anti-Doping Organization may elect to grant the Shooter a national level TUE or a retroactive national-level TUE if the circumstances so warrant it.
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.
How can I know which medications can be taken?
Consult the WADA Prohibited List. Ask questions. Contact your National Anti-Doping Organization. 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.