The Anti-Doping Rules
- the presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample
- the use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or method
- evading testing or refusing to provide a sample for drug testing
- failing to provide accurate and up-to-date whereabouts information or missing a test
- tampering or attempting to tamper with any part of the doping control process
- possessing prohibited substances or methods
- trafficking or attempting to traffick any prohibited substance or method
- administering or attempting to administer a prohibited substance or method to an athlete
- covering up an anti-doping rule violation
- an athlete associating with someone, such as a coach or medical professional, who has been found guilty of an anti-doping rule violation or equivalent.
Major changes to the World Anti-Doping Code came into force in January 2015, with the next revision to come into affect on January 2022. The changes were designed to be tougher on real cheats and brought in new rules and longer bans for athletes who dope. If you’re an athlete, it’s important you know what you need to do to ensure you comply with the rules.
To find out more, read Drug Free Sport NZ’s introduction to Anti-Doping here.
The Prohibited List
The Prohibited List is published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) every year and details all substances and methods which are prohibited or banned in sport. A substance or method may be included on the list if it meets any two of the following criteria:
- it has the potential to enhance sporting performance
- it presents an actual or potential health risk to the athlete
- it violates the spirit of sport.
Many medications contain substances which are prohibited in sport so if an athlete is sick or injured they need to be careful about what they take so that they don’t return a positive test. Athletes who have a common condition such as asthma, diabetes, ADHD or an infection need to check whether their treatment is permitted in sport.
- stress to medical professionals that they are athletes who could be drug tested
- insist that medical professionals check whether medications are permitted in sport before they prescribe them
- understand and follow the Therapeutic Use Exemption process if they need to take a mediation that contains a prohibited substance.
Drug Free Sport NZ provides Athlete Anti-Doping ID cards which athletes can show to medical professionals to alert them to the need to check the status of medications in sport. Drug Fee Sport NZ also has a handy wallet guide to the status of common medications in sport. Order your ID and/or wallet card here.
There are also has several ways in which athletes and others can check whether medications are permitted in sport. These include:
- the medication check on Drug Free Sport NZ’s website
- phoning 0800 DRUGFREE (378 437)
- using Drug Free Sport NZ’s wallet guide to the status of common medications.
If athletes need to take a medication which is prohibited in sport, then they can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Athletes who compete at a national or international level will need to apply for a TUE before they take any medication. Find out more about TUEs here.
There are many dietary or sports supplements which are marketed as helping to improve performance, recovery, weight loss or muscle development.
Athletes should carefully assess their need for supplements and carefully research the supplements they choose to take. Supplements can contain substances which are prohibited in sport and many products may not accurately label ingredients so you cannot be sure of exactly what’s in them.
Drug Free Sport NZ can provide some assessment of the level risk associated with supplements and may be able to identify products which are known to be a problem. Lodge a supplement query with Drug Free Sport NZ here or phone them on 0800 DRUGFREE (378 437).
The Athlete Whereabouts Programme
Anti-doping organisations, including Drug Free Sport NZ, conduct ‘surprise’ drug tests on athletes out-of-competition with no advance warning.
The Athlete Whereabouts Programme allows Drug Free Sport NZ to locate athletes for testing.
Athletes will be told if they are part of the whereabouts programme. If they are, they will need to log information with Drug Free Sport NZ regularly so that they can be easily located. This information will include details about where they are living, working, training, and travelling.
Drug testing is one of the best ways to catch athletes who are doping and to protect athletes who are clean competitors. Athletes being tested for the first time may be nervous but if they know a bit more about the process it can relieve these nerves.
During drug testing athletes have the right to:
- have a representative (parent, coach or friend) with them
- have an interpreter if required
- ask for additional information about the sample collection process
- request a delay in reporting to the doping control station for valid reasons (e.g. attending a medal ceremony, further competition commitments, fulfilling media commitments, needing medical treatment)
- request modifications if they have a disability or they’re a minor (under 18 years of age)
- record any concerns or comments they have on the doping control form.
Athletes also have the responsibility to:
- report to the doping control station as soon as possible
- remain in sight of the doping control official at all times
- produce valid identification at doping control
- comply with the sample collection process
- recognise that if they choose to eat or drink before providing a sample, that they do so at their own risk.
Athletes can be tested during an event (in-competition) or at any other time (out-of-competition) and will be asked to provide a urine sample, a blood sample or both.
Sample collection for doping control will be carried out by a trained and accredited Drug Free Sport NZ official.
When providing a urine sample, an athlete will:
- choose a container in which to provide the urine sample
- provide a sample in front of the Drug Free Sport NZ official (who will be the same gender as you)
- pour their urine sample into two sample collection bottles (A and B)
- seal the samples in tamper-evident container
- let the Drug Free Sport NZ official know about any medications or supplements they’ve taken in the past seven days
- check and sign the relevant paper work and take a copy.
When providing a blood sample, an athlete will:
- choose a kit for sample collection
- sit down and rest for ten minutes
- have blood taken from their arm by a trained professional
- seal the samples in a tamper-evident container
- let the doping control officer know about any medications or supplements they’ve taken in the past seven days
- check and sign the relevant paper work and take a copy.
The samples are then transported to an accredited laboratory for analysis. Drug Free Sport NZ will notify athletes of the results in a few weeks.
Visit Drug Free Sport NZ’s website for more details about doping control and the testing process.
Fun. Fair. Safe.
MNZ is committed to the advancement of clean sport that rejects cheating through the use of performance-enhancing drugs and methods. We work in partnership with the national anti-doping organisation, Drug Free Sport New Zealand to:
- promote a culture of clean sport
- deliver anti-doping education
- organise testing programmes
- report doping and suspicious activity
- support athletes to compete drug free.
For more information about anti-doping or to receive some anti-doping education, contact Drug Free Sport NZ.