WHAT IS A THERAPEUTIC USE EXEMPTION (TUE)?
The Athletes, like all people, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications or undergo procedures. If the medication or method an Athlete is required to take/use to treat an illness or condition is included in the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that Athlete the authorization to take a substance or use a method that is prohibited.
A TUE is a certificate granted for a set Prohibited Substance, in certain dosages, with a limited period of validity. An application for a TUE must be based on a documented medical condition and diagnosis and the TUE will only be granted under strict criteria laid out in the WADA International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE).
The Athletes must absolutely avoid taking a medication with a Prohibited Substance without a valid TUE.
Applications for TUEs are reviewed by a panel of experts, the TUE Committee (TUEC) who may give such permission.
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR GRANTING A TUE?
All of the four following criteria must be met (for more details, please refer to the WADA International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) Article 4.1):
- The Athlete has a clear diagnosed medical condition which requires treatment using a Prohibited Substance or Method;
- The therapeutic use of the substance would not produce significant enhancement of performance beyond the Athlete’s normal state of health;
- There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the Prohibited Substance or Method;
- The necessity to use that substance or method is not a consequence of the prior use (without a TUE), of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of use.
WHO SHOULD APPLY FOR A TUE TO WMF, WHERE AND WHEN?
First, check if the required medication or method you intend to take or use appears on the Prohibited List.
Useful Online Databases*
The following online country-specific drug reference databases are also available for checking the status of a medication bought in that country:
- GlobalDRO* (for Canada, UK, USA, Japan and Australia)
- GlobalDRO link to other countries’ online databases*
* Important note: the WMF and WADA do not take responsibility for the information provided on these websites.
You have the responsibility to inform your doctors that you are an Athlete subject to Doping Control, and your doctors should check the Prohibited List whenever they prescribe a medication / method to you. If the substance / method is prohibited, check with your doctors if there are any alternative treatments that are not prohibited. If not, you have to apply for a TUE.
Second, check your competition level to determine to which organization, and when to apply for a TUE.
IF YOU ARE INTERNATIONAL-LEVEL ATHLETE
International-Level Athlete Definition:
International-Level Athlete is every Athlete participating in International Events established by WMF as “International Championships” and shared officially at WMF website here.
You must apply to WMF in advance as soon as the need arises, unless there are emergency or exceptional circumstances.
For substances prohibited In-Competition only, you should apply for a TUE at least 30 days before your next competition.
Please refer to the section "How to apply to WMF for a TUE?".
If you already have a TUE granted by your National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO):
WMF automatically recognizes that TUE but nevertheless checks that conditions set out in ISTUE Article 4.1 are met, through the information reported in accordance with ISTUE Article 5.4. Please notify WMF that you have a TUE granted by your NADO.
IF YOU ARE NOT AN INTERNATIONAL-LEVEL ATHLETE
If you are NOT an International-Level Athlete and you have been tested by WMF, WMF recognizes a valid TUE granted by your NADO (i.e., it satisfies the ISTUE criteria for granting a TUE). If, moreover, you are also NOT a National-Level Athlete as defined by your NADO and you have been tested by WMF, you must apply for a retroactive TUE to WMF.
CAN I GET RETROACTIVE TUE?
You may only apply retroactively for a TUE to WMF if:
- Your competition level permits (i.e., you are not an International-Level Athlete as defined by WMF nor a National-Level Athlete as defined by your NADO); or
- An emergency or urgent treatment of a medical condition was necessary; or
- Due to exceptional circumstances, you had insufficient time or opportunity to submit, (or for the TUEC to consider), your application prior to Sample Collection; or
- It is agreed, by WADA and by WMF, that fairness requires the grant of a retroactive TUE.
Using a Prohibited Substance before being granted a TUE could result in an Adverse Analytical Finding and a potential Anti-Doping Rule Violation.
In case an application for a retroactive TUE is necessary following Sample Collection, you are strongly advised to have a medical file prepared and ready to submit for evaluation.
If you have a doubt as regards to which organization you should apply for a TUE, or as to the recognition process, or any other question with regard to TUEs, please contact: WMF Anti-Doping Officer.