Substances and Methods on the Prohibited List

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) produces a list of substances and methods that are banned in sport in the form of the Prohibited List. It is updated at least annually, with the new list taking effect on January 1 of each year. 

It is important that athletes and Athlete Support Personnel are familiar with the Prohibited List and know how to check whether medications are prohibited in sport.

A substance or method can be added to the Prohibited List if it meets at least two of the following three criteria:

1. It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance.

2. Use of the substance or method represents an actual or potential health risk to the athlete.

3. Use of the substance or method violates the spirit of sport.

The Prohibited List includes substances and methods that are categorised into three groups:

1. Substances and methods prohibited at all times

2. Substances and methods prohibited in-competition

3. Substances prohibited in particular sports

According to the Code, the in-competition is the period commencing at 11:59 p.m. on the day before a Competition in which the Athlete is scheduled to participate through the end of such Competition and the Sample collection process related to such Competition. In-competition periods may differ for some sports and athletes are encouraged to check the Anti-Doping Rules of their International Federation.

The in-competition period is very important to understand when it relates to substances that are prohibited in-competition. When a substance is prohibited in-competition, it must leave the athlete’s system by the time the said competition begins. It does not mean that the athlete must stop taking the substance only by the time the in-competition period begins. Different substances take different amounts of time to leave the system – athletes must be extremely careful to make sure that they are not caught with a positive test as a result of taking a substance prohibited in-competition.

The 2023 Prohibited List can be found on the WADA website.