THERAPEUTIC USE EXEMPTIONS (TUEs)
WHAT IS A TUE?
Athletes, like all people, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take a particular medication/substance or undergo certain procedures/methods. If the substance or method appears on WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, athletes must obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in order to have the permission to take it or use it and participate in their sport. TUEs can only be granted by Anti-Doping Organizations following a robust review process that is defined in WADA’s International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions and involves evaluation by a panel of at least three physicians specialized in sports medicine and/or other relevant specialties.
WHO MUST OBTAIN TUEs FROM AIBA?
The AIBA Anti-Doping Rules (AIBA ADR) require that all International-level Athletes* who need to take medication/treatment which is on WADA’s Prohibited List must submit a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) application to AIBA as follows:
- If the Athlete does not already have a TUE granted by his/her National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO), he/she must apply directly to AIBA.
- If the Athlete already has a TUE granted for national-level competitions by his/her NADO, that TUE is automatically valid for international-level competition and it is not necessary to apply to AIBA for recognition, provided that such TUE decision has been reported in accordance with Article 5.4 of the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions and therefore is available for review by WADA.
* International-level Athletes are defined in the AIBA ADR as reported below.
WHICH ATHLETES ARE CONSIDERED TO BE “INTERNATIONAL-LEVEL ATHLETES” ?
International-level athletes are defined as:
- Athletes who are part of the AIBA Registered Testing Pool;
- Athletes who participate in select AIBA International Events as published by AIBA on its website (https://www.aiba.org/aiba-calendar-2020/);
- Athletes who are in the top 5 places of their respective final season rankings. For the avoidance of doubt the complete list of those Athletes will be published in the AIBA’s website (https://www.aiba.org/rankings-2/);
- Athletes who are part of the AIBA Testing Pool;
- Any Athlete who is a member of or a license-holder of the APB and WSB.
Athletes who do not fall under the above-mentioned categories should submit TUE applications to their respective National Anti-Doping Agency (NADO).
I AM AN INTERNATIONAL-LEVEL ATHLETE. HOW AND WHEN SHOULD I APPLY TO AIBA FOR A TUE?
- As soon as a new treatment is prescribed to you, you must check whether it involves prohibited substances or methods. If this is the case, a TUE application must be submitted.
- Any TUE request to AIBA has to be submitted through the ADAMS system only (see below). In accordance with the AIBA ADR, TUE applications should be sent at least thirty (30) days before your next competition.
- TUE applications must be adequately documented with relevant medical records. According to the AIBA ADR, medical evidence confirming the diagnosis and explaining the reasons for the required treatment shall be transmitted along with the TUE application. The medical evidence must include a comprehensive medical history and the results of all relevant examinations, laboratory investigation and imaging studies. Please note that applications sent without medical evidence cannot be considered. Please refer your treating physician to the medical information available on WADA’s website to support the decisions of TUE committees.
- Once your application is received, AIBA may request additional information in order to document the clinical situation in accordance with WADA’s Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions. The AIBA TUE Committee has twenty-one (21) days to issue a decision once the full application (including sufficient medical documentation) is received. For this reason, you should send your TUE application at least 21 days prior to your next competition.
- If it is not possible for you to apply 30 days before the decision is needed, you must imperatively attest the urgent nature of the application in the form. AIBA tries to be as flexible as possible to accommodate these situations, however urgent applications should be exceptional not routine.
- TUE applications cannot be considered for retroactive approval exceptin the cases mentioned in article 4.3 of the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
- Once a TUE is granted: (1) any change in substance, dosage, route of administration and/or frequency requires the submission of a new TUE application (ISTUE Art. 6.12); and (2) in case of persistence of the medical condition, it is the athlete’s responsibility to apply in advance for renewal of the present TUE prior to its expiry date.
Athletes selected for doping control must systematically (i.e. regardless of the presence of a TUE) declare on the doping control form the use of all prescribed and over-the-counter medications as well as supplements taken in the last 7 days.
If you do not already have an ADAMS account, the first step to make is to request one here:
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY TREATMENT INVOLVES PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES/METHODS AND I DO NOT HAVE A TUE?
Using a prohibited substance or method on WADA’s Prohibited List before or without TUE approval will most likely result in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) in the event of an anti-doping test. It is therefore important that athletes check very carefully whether any treatment they are prescribed involves prohibited substances or methods. Athlete should also not assume that all medical professionals who prescribe medication have a full understanding of anti-doping-related matters in their sport. Athletes are advised to treat the matter of TUEs seriously and in all instances seek expert advice.
For more general information about TUEs please visit ITA TUEs section.
For any request, clarification or doubt please contact: TUE@ita.sport
The following online country-specific drug reference database is also available for checking the status of a medication.
GlobalDro – http://www.globaldro.com/
Extreme caution is recommended regarding supplement use. A significant number of positive tests have been attributed to the misuse or contamination of supplements and poor labeling of dietary supplements.
For more information on nutritional supplements, please consult the Q&A on WADA’s website.