Protecting the Right to Enjoy Doping-Free Sport


Welcome to the anti-doping glossary.

By clicking the links below you will be able to find out more about a number of commonly used anti-doping terms and phrases.

100% me

100% me is UK Anti-Doping’s athlete-centred education programme, which supports athletes to compete clean. It is a symbol for clean athletes to show their effort, commitment and determination to perform at the highest level, without a need to enhance performance through doping.

To find out more about 100% me, visit the Athlete Zone or follow us on Facebook.


The Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS) enables athletes and anti-doping organisations to enter and share data related to doping control in order to meet their responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). ADAMS is an online system which allows restricted sharing of data only with those organisations with a right to access such data in accordance with the Code. Athletes can access ADAMS via the website, using their unique login details.

Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF)

A doping control sample that shows the presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers (including elevated quantities of endogenous substances) or evidence of the use of a prohibited method following testing and its subsequent report. An adverse analytical finding does not necessarily lead to an anti-doping rule violation, since an athlete may have a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for this particular substance.


Altitude is basically height and is used in anti-doping for the purposes of the Athlete Biological Passport. Altitude can affect an athlete’s blood variables e.g. red blood cell count. The World Health Organisation defines anything over 1000m as being at altitude.

Anabolic agent/steroid

Muscle-building chemicals - the synthetic derivatives of the naturally occurring male anabolic hormone testosterone. For further information on prohibited substances, please see the Prohibited List.

Anti-Doping Organisation (ADO)

An organisation responsible for adopting and executing rules for initiating, implementing or enforcing any part of the doping control process. This includes, for example, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, other major event organisations that conduct testing at their events, the World Anti-Doping Agency, International Sports Federations, and National Anti-Doping Organisations.

Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV)

Determination that one of the following rule violations listed in the Code has occurred:

  • The presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample
  • Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method
  • Evading, refusing, or failing to submit to sample collection
  • Whereabouts failures: any combination of three missed tests and/or filing failures within a 12-month period by an athlete in a registered testing pool
  • Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control
  • Possession of a prohibited substance or prohibited method
  • Trafficking or attempted trafficking in any prohibited substance or prohibited method
  • Administration or attempted administration to any athlete in-competition of any prohibited method or prohibited substance, or administration or attempted administration to any athlete out-of-competition of any prohibited method or any prohibited substance that is prohibited out-of-competition
  • Complicity: assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving an ADRV or any attempted ADRV
  • Prohibited Association: associating with a person such as a coach, doctor or physio who has been found guilty of a criminal or disciplinary offence equivalent to a doping violation

View current rule violations.

Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)

The concept of an athlete biological passport (ABP) is the monitoring of selected biomarkers which indirectly reveal the effects of doping, as opposed to the traditional testing model.  Biological tracing throughout an athlete’s sporting career should make doping far harder to achieve undetected.

An ABP comprises a longitudinal series of tests collected from an athlete which enables individual limits for each biomarker to be established.  The concept of the ABP is that it switches the focus from comparison with the population (i.e. all athletes), to the creation of individual reference ranges. The baseline target for new athletes on the programme is 6 samples over a 12 month period.

View the anti-doping testing procedures.

Athlete Support Personnel

Any coach, trainer, manager, agent, team staff member, official, medical or paramedical personnel, parent or any other person working to treat or assist an athlete participating in or preparing for sports competition.

Visit the Support Personnel section of the website.

Athlete Whereabouts

Information provided by or on behalf of an athlete detailing the athlete’s location on a daily basis in order to enable unannounced testing.

Beta-2 agonists

Beta-2 agonists are a group of medications primarily used to treat asthma. They act on smooth muscle to relax the muscles (and therefore in the case of asthma, dilation of the airways).


Beta-blockers block the signal transmission through the beta-receptors in the body. These receptors occur on cells in various parts of the body including the heart, brain, and blood vessels. Beta-blockers prevent the actions of adrenaline and noradrenaline. In doing so, Beta-blockers can reduce the heart rate and reduce the force at which the heart contracts. This results in a drop in blood pressure and less work for the heart.

Athletes may use Beta-blockers to decrease their heart rate, steady nerves, reduce anxiety and stop trembling.  This will be of particular advantage in sports requiring a high degree of accuracy.

The side-effects of Beta-blockers depend on which one is being taken. Some common side-effects are: cold hands and feet, tiredness, headaches, dizziness, too low heart rate and wheezing.

For further information on prohibited substances, please see the Prohibited List.

Blood Collection Officer (BCO)

An experienced phlebotomist (person trained to collect blood) authorised by an anti-doping organisation to conduct blood sample collection duties.


Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid that acts as a stimulant drug.

For the latest status of caffeine, visit the WADA Prohibited List.

Case management

The stages for handling doping cases. It includes deciding if athletes have a ‘case to answer’ for a potential doping violation and presenting that case before a tribunal.

Chain of custody

The transportation process of a doping control sample, from the provision of the sample until the sample has been received by the laboratory for analysis, documenting the sequence of individuals or organisations responsible for its custody.

View the anti-doping testing procedures.


Official trained and authorised by the anti-doping organisation to carry out specific duties including one or more of the following: notification of the athlete selected for sample collection, accompanying and observing the athlete until arrival at the doping control station, and/or witnessing and verifying the provision of the sample where the training qualifies him/her to do so.

Code Compliance

Term used when a sports organisation has adopted the rules and policies to respect the mandatory articles and principles of the World Anti-Doping Code and is enforcing them.

Code Implementation

Means that a sports organisation amends its rules and policies to include the articles and principles of the World Anti-Doping Code.

Copenhagen Declaration

The Copenhagen Declaration on Anti-Doping in Sport (Copenhagen Declaration) is a political document through which governments signalled their intention to adopt the World Anti-Doping Code through the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. The Copenhagen Declaration was finalised by governments at the second World Conference on Doping in Sport in Copenhagen in March 2003.

Find out more about anti-doping Governance.

Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

The CAS is independent of any sports organisation and provides services to facilitate the settlement of sport-related disputes through arbitration or mediation by means of procedural rules adapted to the specific needs of the sports world.

The CAS is often referred to as “sport’s supreme court.” WADA has a right of appeal to CAS for doping cases under the jurisdiction of organisations that have implemented the World Anti-Doping Code.

Visit the CAS website.


Diuretics promote the excretion of fluid from the body by increasing the production of urine.  They increase water and electrolyte excretion by the kidneys. They are used in the treatment of heart failure, high blood pressure and diseases of the kidney and liver.

Doping Control

The process that includes test distribution planning, sample collection and handling, laboratory analysis, Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), results management, hearings and appeals.

Doping Control Officer (DCO)

Official trained and authorised by an anti-doping organisation with delegated responsibility for the on-site management of sample collection.

Doping Control Station

Location where the sample collection session is conducted. For example, this may be a changing room at a sports venue.

Erythropoietin (EPO)

The human body naturally produces a substance called erythropoietin (“EPO”). EPO is a peptide hormone secreted primarily from the kidney which stimulates the production of red blood cells from the bone marrow. This process is called erythropoiesis. Red blood cells are responsible for oxygen transportation within the body. EPO is also manufactured artificially for use in medical treatment. 

Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO)

Website providing athletes and support personnel with information about the status of
medications (purchased in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Switzerland or Japan) and their ingredients based on the current WADA Prohibited List.

Visit Global DRO.

Gene Doping

The following, with the potential to enhance sport performance, are prohibited:

  1. The transfer of nucleic acids or nucleic acid sequences;
  2. The use of normal or genetically modified cells;
  3. The use of agents that directly or indirectly affect functions known to influence performance by altering gene expression.

Haematological Profiling

The longitudinal assessment of an athlete’s blood variables e.g. haemoglobin or reticulocytes.

Human Growth Hormone

Anabolic hormone that occurs naturally in the human body. It is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and stimulates the growth of muscle, cartilage, and bone. Excess hGH in the body can cause acromegaly, a disease where the hands become spade-like in appearance as they get bigger. Growth of the facial bones causes the face to change shape too.

For further information on prohibited substances, please see the Prohibited List.

In- and Out-of-Competition

The ‘in-competition’ period usually begins twelve hours before a competition the athlete is participating in and finishes at the end of any associated doping control.

‘Out-of-competition’ is regarded as any other time.

In-and out-of-competition period may be different during major events such as from when the Athletes' Village opens.  

Independent Observers (IO)

Team of anti-doping experts, gathered by WADA for a major sporting event, who monitor, audit and report on the doping control and results management processes at that particular event.

Read more about WADA's IO Programs.


Informed-Sport is a quality assurance programme for sports nutrition products offering a UK risk minimisation scheme for athletes.

Testing is carried out on products to certify that they have been tested for banned substances by the laboratory at LGC.

For more information visit the Informed-Sport website.


Insulin is a polypeptide hormone produced in the pancreas. This hormone is released in a pulsatile manner and plays a key role in regulating the amount of glucose in the blood through its actions on carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.

International Federation (IF)

International non-governmental organisation administering one or more sports at global level.

International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI)

The purpose of the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI) is to plan for effective testing and to maintain the integrity and identity of samples, from notifying the athlete to transporting samples for analysis.

More information on the ISTI.

Masking Agents

This is a group of prohibited drugs that can be used to mask the use of other prohibited substances.


Any substance produced by a biotransformation process.

Methylhexaneamine (MHA)

Used as a stimulant and is frequently found in nutritional supplements. Nutritional supplements frequently claim MHA can promote mental and physical performance, and aid weight loss. In 2010, the WADA expanded the list of prohibited substances by adding Methylhexaneamine to the ‘Non-Specified’ stimulant category of the Prohibited List. 

In 2012, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), ruled that products containing MHA must be removed from the market.

For athlete advice on supplements visit our dedicated supplements page.

Missed Test

Term used when an athlete has failed to be available for testing on any given day at the location and time specified in the athlete whereabouts filing.

Models of Best Practice

Model rules, guidelines and sample forms developed by WADA based on the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standards to provide state of the art solutions in different areas of anti-doping.

These models, which are part of the World Anti-Doping Programme, are recommended by WADA to its stakeholders, but their implementation is not mandatory.


Narcotics are opioid drugs derived from the poppy. Narcotics are drugs primarily used to dull the sense of pain.

National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO)

Entity designated by a country as possessing the primary authority and responsibility to adopt and implement anti-doping rules, as well as direct the collection of samples, the management of test results, and the conduct of hearings, all at the national level. If this designation has not been made by the public authority, the entity will be the country's National Olympic Committee or its designee.

UK Anti-Doping is the UK's NADO.

National Intelligence Model (NIM)

The National Intelligence Model is the national model for analysis of Police intelligence which has been adopted by the Intelligence team at UK Anti-Doping.

More information on how intelligence informs the work of UK Anti-Doping.

Non-Analytical Positive

Terminology sometimes used to describe an anti-doping rule violation other than the presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s bodily specimen.

More information on rule violations and Results Management.

Non-Specified Substances

Non-specified substances are those where there is no non-doping explanation for having these substances in an athlete’s system.

View the Prohibited List.

Non-Approved substances

This category on the Prohibited List is designed to prevent athletes from doping with substances that are not on the List and have no recognised approval for human use e.g. a drug in clinical trials or veterinary medicines.

Prohibited List

List identifying the substances and methods prohibited in sport. The Prohibited List is one of the four WADA International Standards and is mandatory for signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code. The Prohibited List is consulted on annually and updated every year on 1 January.

View the WADA Prohibited List.

Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO)

Anti-Doping Organisation established by a group of countries to coordinate, manage and deliver the mandate of doping-free sport within a specific region.

WADA’s anti-doping development programme aims to facilitate the creation of such entities in order to ensure implementation of anti-doping programmes in all parts of the world.

Read more about global harmonisation in anti-doping.

Registered Testing Pool (RTP)

Pool of elite-level athletes, established by each International Federation (IF) and National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO), who are subject to both in-competition and out-of-competition testing as part of that IF’s or NADO’s test distribution plan.

Results Management

Process for the pre-hearing administration of potential anti-doping rule violations. This process notably includes the initial review of the adverse analytical finding (determination of whether an applicable therapeutic use exemption has been granted, notification of the athlete as regards his or her right to request the B-sample analysis) and the possible imposition of a provisional suspension.

WADA is never involved in the individual management of findings, which falls under the responsibility of the anti-doping organisation involved in the particular case.

More information on Results Management.


An early, immature form of a red blood cell. Over time, the reticulocyte develops to become a mature, oxygen-carrying red blood cell.


Any biological material (blood or urine) collected for the purposes of doping control.

Sample Collection

All of the sequential activities that directly involve the athlete, from notification until the athlete leaves the doping control station after having provided his/her sample/s.

Specified Substance

Specified substances are those that, if found to be present in an athlete’s bodily sample, may be more likely to have a credible, non-doping explanation.

View the Prohibited List.


Stimulants act on the brain to increase alertness and physical activity stimulating the body both mentally and physically. They act on the central and/or peripheral nervous system to increase heart rate, breathing rate, and brain function. Some stimulants affect only a specific organ, such as the heart, lungs or brain and some are highly addictive.

Strict Liability

The principle of strict liability means that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found in the bodily specimen of an athlete, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.

Find out more about what happens when a sample is found to be positive.


Although there is no official definition, supplements might be regarded as products
used to enhance the levels of nutrients in the body, in addition to those obtained from the diet.

Visit our dedicated supplements page for athlete advice on supplements.

Testing Authority

The International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, WADA, an International Federation, a National Sport Organisation, a National Olympic Committee, a Major Event/Games Organisation, or another authority responsible for sample collection and transport either in-competition or out-of-competition and/or for management of the test result.

Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)

Permission granted to an athlete by an Anti-Doping Organisation to use, for therapeutic purposes, a substance or method included in the Prohibited List. TUEs are granted by an expert TUE Committee.

Visit the Therapeutic Use Exemption page for more information.

UNESCO Convention

The International Convention against Doping in Sport (UNESCO Convention) was developed by governments under the aegis of UNESCO and unanimously adopted by UNESCO General Conference on 19 October 2005. It is currently being ratified by governments individually. It is a legal tool enabling governments to align domestic policy with the World Anti-Doping Code.

More information on the international anti-doping landscape.

Urine Steroid Profiling

The longitudinal assessment of endogenous steroids in an athlete’s urine sample.


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the international independent organisation created in 1999 to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against doping in sport in all its forms at the international level. WADA is composed and funded equally by the Olympic movement and governments of the world. Its key activities include scientific research, education, out-of competition testing, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code.

Visit WADA's website.

WADA-Accredited Laboratory

Anti-doping laboratory accredited by WADA in compliance with the International Standard for Laboratories, applying test methods and processes to provide evidentiary data for the detection and, if applicable, quantification of a threshold substance on the Prohibited List in urine and other biological samples.

WADA has been responsible for accrediting and re-accrediting anti-doping laboratories since 2004.

In the UK, there is one WADA-accredited laboratory, the Drug Control Centre at King's College London,

World Anti-Doping Code

The World Anti-Doping Code (the Code) is the core document that provides the harmonised framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sport organisations and among public authorities.

Find out more about global harmonisation.