Prohibited Substances

The PROHIBITED LIST FOR HUMAN ATHLETES

Important: major modification for the 2022 WADA Prohibited List: a major change to the status of glucocorticoids will come into effect on 1 January 2022. Please read this document carefully.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes and maintains a list of the substances and methods which are: 

  • Prohibited at all times (both in-competition and out-of-competition); or
  • Prohibited in-competition* only (athletes can be tested for these substances or methods during the in-competition period. The substance/method is not forbidden at other times); or
  • Prohibited in specific sports only. 

Within these categories, some substances are "conditional" – athletes are allowed to take up to a specific dose or within a specific dosage range but outside of that dose or range the substance is prohibited (for example, some ingredients found in asthma inhalers). Other conditional substances are those that are only prohibited by the way they are taken (route of administration) - for example, applied as a cream, or swallowed, or inhaled.

The FEI defines the in-competition period as the period commencing one (1) hour before the beginning of the first horse inspection the day before a competition in which the athlete is scheduled to participate through to the end of the last competition at the event for that athlete or the sample collection process related to such competition.

In the Prohibited List, substances and methods are classified by category (e.g. steroids, stimulants, gene doping). The Prohibited List is updated annually and comes into effect on 1 January. It is published 3 months before earlier (i.e. 1 October) so athletes have the time to review any changes and apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for their current medical treatment if necessary.

Athletes have a duty to:

  • Familiarise themselves with the Prohibited List and make sure to always be updated on the latest version;
  • Systematically ask their medical practitioners to verify that no medication, supplement or treatment they are taking (prescribed or not) involves prohibited substances or methods;
  • Apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption if a prescribed treatment involves prohibited substances or methods;
  • When purchasing over-the-counter medication, consult their national anti-doping agency or ask the pharmacist to check that the medication does not contain anything prohibited on the Prohibited List currently in force;
  • Be extremely cautious with and generally avoid dietary and nutritional supplements; never assume that a product is safe to use simply because it is a supplement. Many supplements contain undeclared ingredients including illegal stimulants, steroids, and prescription medications.
  • Athletes can learn how to manage the risk posed by supplements. Please refer to this page for further information.