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Regulation regarding glucocorticoids 

With WADA's 2022 Prohibited List, the anti-doping rules for the use of glucocorticoids, also known as cortisone, have changed. Here you can find out what this might mean for you.


Until 31/12/2021, glucocorticoids were prohibited in-competition when administered by oral, intravenous, intramuscular or rectal route.

With the WADA Prohibited List 2022 coming into effect as of 01/01/2022, all glucocorticoids are prohibited in competition when administered by any of the following routes:

  • oral (by mouth). This includes, but is not limited to, oromucosal (via the oral mucosa), buccal (in the cheek pouch), gingival (on the gums) and sublingual (under the tongue) administration.
  • rectal (via the rectum)
  • any injectable route. These include intravenous (into the vein), intramuscular (into the muscle), intra-articular (into the joint), periarticular (around the joint), peritendinous (around the tendon), intratendinous (into the tendon), or subcutaneous (under the skin) injections.

Out-of-competition the routes of administration listed above are permitted. Please note the corresponding washout periods (see table below) that athletes should follow, expressed from the time of administration to the start of the in-competition period.

Glucocorticoids administered via other routes not mentioned above are permitted when used within the manufacturer´s licensed doses and therapeutic indications. These include the dermal (on the skin), inhaled, intranasal (in the nose), or ophthalmic (on the eye) application. With these types of application, it can be assumed that no high glucocorticoid concentrations are reached in the body.

Washout periods for glucocorticoids (source: WADA)

To estimate the required interval between a glucocorticoid application and the next competition, WADA has published so-called washout periods.

Further information from WADA can be found in the document "Glucocorticoids and Therapeutic Use Exemptions"

Table with application types, glucocorticoids and washout periodsEnlarge Image
Washout periods for glucocorticoids

In-competition period

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. Provided, however, WADA may approve, for a particular sport, an alternative definition.

Note for athletes

In principle, we recommend that you obtain a report from your attending specialist on any use of glucocorticoids prohibited in competition. This enables the treatment to be clearly tracked in the event of queries.

Important questions and answers
about glucocorticoids /
cortisone in sports

Important documents

2024 Summary of Major Modfications

2024 Summary of Major Modfications

FAQ - Changes regarding cortisone as of 01.01.2022

FAQ - Changes regarding cortisone as of 01.01.2022

  • 119 KB
Glucocorticoids and Therapeutic Use Exemptions

Glucocorticoids and Therapeutic Use Exemptions

  • 96 KB
Prohibited List 2024

Prohibited List 2024