This section provides an overview of key anti-doping information for athlete support personnel.
The Prohibited List
The Prohibited List is a core document, and you need to be familiar with its contents. It identifies all substances and methods that are prohibited. Some substances are only prohibited in-competition, some only in particular sports, and other substances prohibited at all times.
As someone supporting athletes, you need to be aware of the main types of substances that are prohibited and when these substances are prohibited. Find out more about the Prohibited List.
The Prohibited List is updated at least once a year, but you need to be aware that substances can be added to the prohibited list at any time. UKAD tries to ensure it communicates to its stakeholders any mid-year changes to the Prohibited List so you will know when any new substance is added to the list.
Athletes found to have a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) in their sample will have committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) and may be barred from competition. Find out more in the Rule Violation section.
Before an athlete is recommended to take any medication – whether it is prescribed or bought over the counter – it should be checked to ensure that it does not contain any prohibited substances. This advice applies to all medications, even those on a repeat prescription, as ingredients and manufacturing processes can change over time.
ASP should help athletes to learn to check their medications, reinforcing the necessity of this process to avoid inadvertent doping. Many athletes will self-medicate when they are not within the formal training environment, so it is important that they remember to check their medications wherever they are.
Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) is a tool that allows users to check the current status of licensed medications against the Prohibited List. It is easy to use and searches can be carried out either by brand or by the individual ingredients. Evidence of any searches conducted, including the unique search reference number should always be kept. Global DRO can be used to check medications bought in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Switzerland and Japan (in Japanese only). Find out more about checking medications.
Checking Medications During Overseas Travel
If you are travelling abroad with athletes or supporting athletes while they are competing or training abroad, you need to advise them that medications bought in other countries may contain different substances from those in the UK. They should always be checked before taking them.
Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
In some cases an athlete may need to take medication or treatments which are prohibited. If no alternative medication or treatment is available, the athlete will need to apply for a TUE.
To find out more about applying for a TUE, see the TUE section.
Know the Risks with Supplements
There are risks involved with athletes taking supplements, and all athletes need to be aware of them. Nutritional supplements such as protein products, vitamin tablets and sports drinks may be contaminated with prohibited substances. There is no guarantee that any supplement product is free from prohibited substances.
From 1 January 2015 athletes have the additional responsibility to conduct thorough research of any supplement product they intend to use - including the name of the product and the ingredients/substances listed. Information revealed as a result should be further investigated and we advise athletes to keep evidence of their research.
See UKAD’s position on supplements.
We all have a duty to raise athletes’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities in drug testing, at the same time reducing their anxiety about the testing process. Testing is a necessary part of being a competitive athlete and should be seen as a positive way of underlining their achievements as being clean.
It is not just the elite athletes who can be tested: any athlete competing in the UK, no matter what level, can be tested. This includes in- and out-of-competition at any time.
If your athlete refuses to provide a sample, this could lead to an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.
Find out more about testing procedures.
Acting as an Athlete Representative During a Drug Test
An athlete has the right to have a representative present during doping control. Athlete Support Personnel may act as a representative during doping control.
UK Anti-Doping strongly recommends that athletes at every stage of the athlete pathway take a representative with them when they are to be tested.