Larkhall YMCA Harriers - Clean Athletics


Anti-doping in sport might not seem like something that would concern you, but its not all steroids and blood doping. You can fall foul of Anti-doping regulations for something as simple as an over the counter nasal inhaler for a cold! So rather than let your hard work go to waste from a simple mistake, take some time to understand Clean Athletics and never find yourself on the wrong side of the regulations.
We hope that this can give you an understanding of the work done by the Clean Athletics department of British Athletics, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). Plus give you the information that you need to understand how the Anti-Doping regulations and Clean Sport ethos apply to you.


The world of Clean Athletics and anti-doping is based on the principle of ‘strict liability' - But what does that mean?

According to UKAD, ‘strict liability’ means that an athlete is solely responsible for any prohibited substance they use, attempt to use, or that is found in their system, regardless of how it got there or whether there was an intention to cheat or not
  • Prohibited List - WADA Website

    Since 2004, and as mandated by the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA has published an annual List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. The List identifies the substances and methods prohibited in and out of competition, and in particular sports. The substances and methods on the list are classified by different categories (e.g. steroids, stimulants, gene doping)

    The List is updated at least once a year. The List for the following year is published on 1 October. This allows athletes time to familiarise themselves with it, before it becomes effective on 1 January. WADA can make additional changes to the List throughout the year if required. Any updates will be publicised extensively by WADA, UKAD and British Athletics. It is good practice to check in regularly throughout the year. The current List can be found on the WADA website

  • Checking Medication - Global DRO

    The Global Drug Reference Online or Global DRO website allows you to check the status of medications in certain countries, including the UK. It is only for checking the status of registered medications. Only certain countries have signed up to Global DRO and these countries are listed on the Global DRO homepage If you can, try it now. Check a prescription, or an over-the-counter medication.

    Always SAVE a copy of the result – either a printout, screenshot or a copy of the unique reference number. When you or your athlete uses Global DRO you will be presented with the status of the medication both ‘in competition’ and ‘out of competition’.


Therapeutic use exemption (TUE)

A TUE can ONLY be obtained for a medication or method of treatment for a legitimate medical condition. If an athlete’s medication is prohibited, then the first course of action is to ask the prescribing doctor if there are any alternative medications or treatments that are not prohibited. If there are no permitted alternatives, then the athlete will need to find out if they need a TUE in advance, or if a retroactive TUE is applicable for them. TUE guidance is available. The UK Anti-Doping website has some great guidance which can be found in the ‘Athletes’ tab, or contact the Clean Athletics Team at British Athletics for assistance. If the athlete finds that they do need to make an application, advise them to contact the British Athletics Clean Athletics Department, who will be happy to offer assistance and guidance in completing the application. It is really important that the athlete makes contact and begins the process as soon as possible as it can take some time for a TUE application to be considered. Appropriate medical evidence must be provided to support the application.

The framework of how a TUE decision is arrived at is a follows; 
1. The TUE application form will be reviewed by a Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC) which is made up of medically qualified individuals
2. The application is anonymised, so the TUEC members won’t know who it is for.
3. The committee will consider all of the evidence and either grant or refuse the application.   


A recent study has found that over 28% of dietary supplements contain undisclosed substances. Some of the most frequently found undeclared substances are Sibutramine and Anabolic Steroids. Source
  • What are Supplements?

    In terms of our sport, a supplement is something that is consumed to enhance the diet of athletes. Vitamins and minerals, sports drinks, probiotics, protein bars and powders, creatine, and pre-workout products are all examples of supplements, and there are many more. As a governing body UKA strongly advocate a ‘food first’ approach to an athlete’s diet.

    As the regulation around supplement production is not as stringent or consistent as that surrounding the production of medicines, there is ALWAYS a risk associated with their use. Contamination, ingredient mislabelling, use of alternative names for ingredients, counterfeit and fake products are among the risks associated with the use of supplements




UK Anti-Doping advises that athletes should exercise caution when contemplating the use of supplements, and that they should follow the A.N.A.R.A.C guidance.  Assess the Need, Assess the Risk, Assess the ConsequencesAthletes should remember that there can be no 100% guarantee that any supplement free of prohibited substances. Athletes should also seek the guidance of a nutritionist from the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register.

If a supplement has a label on it saying that it’s ‘approved by WADA or UKAD’ then it should be avoided and reported. Neither organisation approves any products. British Athletics has a Supplements Policy which you should familiarise yourself with, but the basic takeaways are;

1. Assess the nutritional need – diet and hydration should be optimal before supplement use is considered.
2. Strict liability applies here. There can be no 100% guarantee that supplements are free of prohibited substances and liability rests with the athlete.

If the athlete decides to use a supplement then British Athletics would advise that, to minimise the risk as much as possible, only products that are part of the Informed Sport programme should be used 
  • Informed Sport

    The Informed-Sport programme is a quality assurance scheme for sports nutrition products. The programme certifies that every batch of a supplement product and/or raw material that bears the Informed-Sport logo has been tested for banned substances by LGC’s sports anti-doping laboratory – LGC are a world-renowned sports doping control and research laboratory.

    Athletes are advised that if they use a supplement that is part of the programme, they should keep a record of their search on the site. British Athletics caution athletes to ONLY consider the use of supplements where the batch number on the product matches a batch number listed on the website.

Informed Sport

The Testing Procedure

The chances of having to provide a sample for testing is low for most of us, but if you rise through the rankings and start performing at the highest levels of our sport you may find yourself subject to UKAD testing. If so, this short video explains how that will look and what to expect.


See the 10 Anti-Doping Rule Violations, or ADRVs. The highlighted points show violations that apply to both athletes and athlete support personnel.

  • The presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample.

  • Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method.

  • Evading, refusing, or failing to submit to sample collection.

  • Whereabouts failures: any combination of three missed tests and/or filing failures within a 12-month period by an athlete in a registered testing pool.

  • Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control.

  • Possession of a prohibited substance or prohibited method.

  • Trafficking or attempted trafficking of any prohibited substance or prohibited method.

  • Administration or attempted administration to any athlete in competition of any prohibited method or prohibited substance, or administration or attempted administration to any athlete out of competition of any prohibited method or any prohibited substance that is prohibited out of competition.

  • Complicity; assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving an ADRV or any attempted ADRV.

  • Prohibited association; associating with a person such as a coach, doctor or physio who has been found guilty of a criminal or disciplinary offence equivalent to a doping violation.


The most effective use of resources within a testing process is when intelligence information is used to develop the Testing Plan. Even small, seemingly insignificant, pieces of information can help to build a complete picture of what is going on. If you have any concerns you should make them known.

Anti-doping organisations use intelligence from a number of different sources to inform their Test Plan. Information can come from national organisations such as the National Crime Agency and the Border Force.

Another source of information is that which is received from within the sport.

UKAD’s ‘Report Doping In Sport’ can be accessed in a number of ways: Call anonymously on 08000322332.

Message a UKAD Intelligence Specialist directly on WhatsApp on +44 (0)7587 634711.


Submit a secure online form


In addition to the UKAD ‘Report doping in sport’ system, there are a number of additional options.

The Athletics Integrity Unit have an online reporting system to raise concerns over doping, misconduct, corruption or fraud. The form can be accessed by clicking the tab ‘Make a report’ on the AIU website.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) also have a reporting system.

  • 100% Me App

    The 100% me Clean Sport App has all the information you need, helping you make the right decisions on the go.
    Download the App now and stay informed wherever you are.
    Features include:
    • Customised for your sport
    • Check your medications are safe to use, wherever you are
    • Understand the risks with supplements
    • Know your rights as an athlete
    • Be the first to know about updates to the Prohibited List with fast alerts
    • Understand the testing procedures
    • Keep a record of your medications for when you need it in doping control
    • Content is always current and up-to-date
    • and much more …….
    For more information visit the Athlete Zone on the UKAD website.
100% Me