on WADA’s Prohibited List 


WADA produces a list of substances and methods that are banned in sport (the Prohibited List) because of their potential to enhance performance in future competitions or their masking potential. This list is updated at least annually, with the new edition taking effect on 1 January each year. The list is divided into substances and methods that are:

  • Prohibited at all times, or
  • Prohibited only in-competition (the period beginning at 11:59 p.m. on the day before a competition in which the Athlete is scheduled to participate, through to the end of the competition and the sample collection process related to it).

Those substances banned at all times would include (but are not limited to): hormones, anabolics, EPO, beta-2 agonists, masking agents and diuretics. Also banned at all times are methods such as blood transfusion or manipulation, or intravenous injections in some situations.

Those substances prohibited only in-competition would include (but are not be limited to): stimulants, marijuana, narcotics and glucocorticosteroids.

The Prohibited List may be expanded by WADA for a particular sport.


It is important to remember that not all substances and methods are named on the Prohibited List. Even if not expressly named, a substance and method can be deemed prohibited if:

  • It is not currently approved by any governmental regulatory health authority for human therapeutic use (e.g. drugs under pre-clinical or clinical development or discontinued, designer drugs, substances approved only for veterinary use), or
  • It has a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s).

A substance or method can be added to the Prohibited List if it is deemed to meet two of the following three criteria:

  • It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance
  • Use of the substance or method represents an actual or potential health risk to the Athlete
  • Use of the substance or method violates the spirit of sport (as described in the introduction to the Code).


Above all, you are responsible for knowing what substances and methods are considered banned on the Prohibited List. It is therefore important that you acquaint yourself with WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods

Source: WADA/Athletics Integrity Unit

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