Calls to Sport Integrity Australia have been increasing, particularly from concerned parents with children in sporting pathways, about skipping medication during excretion and in-competition periods.
We know that athletes do their best to be hyper vigilant in ensuring adherence to the World Anti-Doping Code which can create an additional layer of stress. We also know that some athletes have legitimate health issues requiring medication. However briefly or permanently discontinuing the use of a medication can be risky from both an anti-doping perspective and a health perspective.
As athletes may at times need to use a prohibited medication and/or method to treat a diagnosed medical condition, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) allows an athlete to use, for therapeutic purposes only, an otherwise prohibited substance or method of administering a substance. The TUE process is in place to ensure that athletes who are on medically prescribed medication for a medical condition can apply for an exemption.
“Athletes should continue to take the medication as prescribed by their doctor and apply for a TUE when required”, said Dr Naomi Speers, Chief Science Officer, Sport Integrity Australia.
“Athletes should not skip taking their medication to avoid the TUE process nor should they stop taking their medication to compete. Their health is too important.”
Athletes should call the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC) or go to the TUE section of the Sport Integrity Australia website to determine if they need an in-advance or retroactive TUE.