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Prohibited Substances and Methods

The WADA Prohibited List (World Anti-Doping Agency) is in force worldwide and does contain ten different classes of substances (S0 to S9), three kinds of prohibited method groups (M1 to M3) and one substance group (P1) which only affect certain sport disciplines. Which substances or methods shall be added to the list is decided by a body of WADA composed of numerous international scientists: The so called List Expert Group.

Before being accepted to get included on the Prohibited List substances and methods are checked for three criteria: for their performance enhancing effects, for potential damage on health and whether they contradict the spirit of sport. Normally, the Prohibited List is changed once per year. Execeptionally, when we find acute and strong hints on abuse, the List can be changed before the 12 months’ period. The Prohibited List contains all substances and methods that are forbidden. It is subdivided into sections with substances and methods that are prohibited at all times, substances which are only prohibited in competition and substances which are only prohibited in particular sports. 


WADA-Verbotsliste / Prohibited List 2020

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Summary of Modifications 2020


Substances and Methods prohibited at all time (in- and out-of-competition)

These are substances with no current approval by any government regulatory health authority for human therapeutic use. 

Steroid hormones (abbreviated as steroids) are the ‚classical‘ anabolic agents which structurally are derived from the sexual hormone testosterone. An example for this group, apart from steroids like testosterone, nandrolone and stanozolol is clenbuterol, that has anabolic effects, too. 

One of the best-known substances of this group is Epo (Erythropoietin), an endogenous hormone that is produced in the kidneys and <ins cite="mailto:Marlene%20Klein" datetime="2016-09-08T15:30">that </ins>is needed to stimulate the production of red blood cells. Further examples for substances which belong to this group S2. are CERA (Methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta), hGH (Human Growth hormone), LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and Xenon.

Beta-2-Agonists are used to treat asthma. Prohibited Examples are fenoterol, reproterol and vilanterol.

This category includes insulins, aromatase-inhibitors, selective estrogen receptor modulators and other anti-estrogenic substances.

Diuretics are substances that influence the kidneys and cause an increased excretion of urine. Examples are furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide and probenecid.

Manipulations of blood and blood components are, for example, blood transfusions, blood plasma donations and dialyses, and thus, they are forbidden. 

Among them, for instance, chemical manipulations of samples, urine substitution or intravenous infusions. 

Gene and cell doping includes the transmission of genetic information and the use of normal and genetically modified cells to potentially enhance athletic performance. 

Substances prohibited in-competition

Stimulants are substances that can enhance physical and mental efficiency in the short term. Examples are amfetamines, ephedrine, cocaine, methylphenidate.

Narcotics have strong pain alleviating and relaxing effects. Amongst others including fentanyl and its derivates, morphine, and oxycodone. 

Cannabinoids are substances which are either extracted from the hemp plant or synthesized. They contain the active ingredient tetrahydocannabinol (THC). Examples are hashish and marijuana.

Glucocorticoids are used to treat asthma, allergies and inflammations. Members of the glucocorticoid group are dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, and prednisolone, for example.

Substances prohibited in particular sports

Beta-blockers are used against high blood pressure, migraine and heart diseases and prohibited in some sports only.