Anti-Doping

Be Proud Be Clean Be Drug Free

The ISSF invites everyone involved in shooting sport to renew their respective commitments to the fight against doping in sport.

Therapeutic Use Exemptions

Athletes, like all others, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications. If the medication an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to fall under the List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the authorisation to take the needed medicine. The criteria for granting a TUE are: 1) the athlete would experience significant health problems without taking the prohibited substance or method, 2) the therapeutic use of the substance would not produce significant enhancement of performance and 3) there is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or method.

The ISSF has its own TUE Committee that grants TUEs for international level athletes in Shooting Sport. Beta blockers are prohibited substances in Shooting Sport and the use of beta blockers is strictly forbidden in ISSF sanctioned events. The ISSF TUE Committee shall not grant or recognize TUE’s granted to any international level shooter for the use of beta blockers.

Any national-level athlete holding a national-level TUE must re-apply to ISSF for a TUE prior to competing in any international competition failing which the TUE will be deemed to be non-valid.

ISSF Registered Testing Pool

The term Registered Testing Pool refers to the pool of top level shooters established by the International Shooting Sport Federation and the relevant National Anti-Doping Organisation who are subject to both In-Competition and Out-of-Competition testing as part of the International Shooting Sport Federation or National-Anti-Doping Organisation's test distribution plan.

The International Shooting Sport Federation’s Registered Testing Pool consists of the top ten men and women in every category at any given time in the calendar year. The shooters who are in the ISSF Registered Testing Pool must provide their whereabouts on a quarterly basis, including all training camps and schedules. They must also provide a 60 minute time slot for which they can be available for testing every day of the year. Any failure to submit timely and accurate whereabouts information, or any failure to be present at the location and time indicated on the whereabouts information submitted, can result in sanctions.

All shooters who belong to the International Shooting Sport Federation are subject to both In-Competition and Out-of-Competition testing on a year-round basis.

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.

ISSF Information Portal on Doping - IPOD

ISSF will also continue to disseminate educational materials via our member federations, through our Information Portal On Doping (IPOD) articles in the ISSF News publication and at some of our International Events by means of the Athlete Outreach Booth. We trust these tools will continue to educate all our Shooters and their support teams on the ISSF anti-doping program, the results management and sanctioning processes and the various negative implications of using performance enhancing drugs.

ISSF Anti-Doping Rules

In accordance with ISSF’s ongoing obligations under the Code, the ISSF Anti-Doping Rules and anti-doping program have been regularly modified and enhanced to remain in full compliance with the Code.