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Erkrankte Person mit Medikamenten

In case of disease

Pharmaceuticals can contain doping-relevant substances - even if you do not suspect it. Even some over-the-counter pharmaceuticals for colds contain banned substances. To find out which drugs are permitted, you can have a look in the sample list of permitted drugs (ger.: Beispielliste zulässiger Medikamente) and in NADA Germany's drug database, NADAmed. Learn more about the procedure in case of illness here.

Illness in sport

Of course, athletes can fall ill, too. This applies to athletes of all levels, to young, old, international, professional or recreational athletes. All athletes who are members of a so-called testing pool or who participate in competitions with doping controls are subject to the anti-doping regulations. In the following, we will explain what to keep in mind when you are ill and have to use prohibited substances or methods.

Are there permitted drugs?

Many common pharmaceuticals are allowed and do not have any doping relevance. Your first step should always be to check your medication in NADAmed, NADA Germany’s drug database. For international medications, you can use databases like Global DRO, respectively. Please always check whether there are permitted treatment options for your condition. This is often the case, so that you do not have to use substances that are on WADA´s Prohibited List. A variety of permitted pharmaceuticals and substances can be found in NADA's "Beispielliste zulässiger Medikamente (sample list of permitted pharmaceuticals in German).

When there is no permitted alternative

If your threating physician deems the use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method necessary, your next steps depend on your testing pool status and in certain team sports the league you belong to.

Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)

Member of a NADA Germany testing pool or not?

According to the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC), athletes need a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the use of prohibited substances and methods. The procedure is regulated in the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) for all athletes worldwide. In Germany, the “Standard für Medizinische Ausnahmegenehmigungen” of NADA Germany applies respectively. The timing of the application depends on your testing pool status. 

Athletes, who are member of a NADA Germany testing pool or certain professional German sports leagues, may only use prohibited substances or prohibited methods if they were granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in advance. Further information can be found here: regulations for testing pool athletes

Athletes, who are not member of a testing pool or a league that is requiring a TUE, do not have to apply for a TUE proactively if they use prohibited substances or prohibited methods and want to participate in competitions at national level in Germany. Instead, they must apply for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption after a doping test in competition and upon request by NADA Germany. Further information can be found here: regulations for non-testing-pool athletes


NADA testing pools

Certain high-level athletes are included in so-called testing pools. For testing pool athletes, the anti-doping rules of NADA Germany apply in its entirety. For example, they cannot only be tested during competitions, but also out-of-competition (e.g. during training or at home). Athletes are informed in writing about their admission to a testing pool. You can find more information about testing pools here.

Sport leagues requiring a TUE

In certain high leagues of different team sports in Germany, athletes also have to apply for a TUE. All these leagues can be found on our information sheet.

Caution with pharmaceuticals from abroad

Many pharmaceuticals from abroad have the same brand names as German drugs, but the active ingredients may sometimes be different. In some countries (e.g. France), drugs with doping relevance are labelled accordingly. If your attending physician, the physician at the event you are participating or the pharmacist in the country you are travelling is unable to provide information about the doping relevance, a different medication should be used.

In some countries (e.g. Canada/UK/USA/Switzerland/Japan/Australia/New Zealand (GlobalDRO) , Austria, France, Sweden, Ireland, Singapore) the local anti-doping agencies also offer drug databases on the Internet - similar to the German drug database NADAmed.

Information for the use of permitted substances

Generally, athletes should always declare all used pharmaceuticals and medical treatments - permitted or prohibited - on the doping control form if they are tested. Beyond that, athletes do not have to inform NADA Germany about the use of permitted substances or methods. NADA Germany solely processes TUE applications for prohibited substances, not for permitted ones.

Procedure for athletes* in case of illnessOpens video in overlay
Athletes and illness

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