Athletes may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications. If the medication an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to fall on the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (Prohibited List), a (TUE) must be obtained. A TUE is necessary before an athlete uses a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition. The JADCO Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC) is responsible for reviewing, granting or denying TUE applications.
Criteria for JADCO Granting a TUE
A TUE application will only be considered under the following circumstances:
- The athlete would experience significant impairment to health if the prohibited substance or prohibited method were to be withheld in the course of treating an acute or chronic medical condition.
- The therapeutic use of the prohibited substance or prohibited method would produce no additional enhancement of performance, other than that which might be anticipated by a return to a state of normal health.
- There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or prohibited method.
- The necessity for the use of the prohibited substance or prohibited method is not a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior use (without a TUE) of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of such use.
Retroactive Approval of a TUE Application
An athlete may only be granted retroactive approval for his/her therapeutic use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method (i.e., a retroactive TUE) if:
- Emergency treatment of an acute medical condition was necessary.
- Due to other exceptional circumstances, there was insufficient time or opportunity for the athlete to submit, or for the TUEC to consider, an application for the TUE prior to Sample collection; or
- The applicable rules required the athlete or permitted the athlete to apply for a retroactive TUE
- It is agreed, by WADA and by the Anti-Doping Organisation to whom the application for a retroactive TUE is or would be made, that fairness requires the grant of a retroactive TUE.
How Long Does a TUE Last?
TUEs are normally valid for the duration of the treatment prescribed by the medical doctor. In certain circumstances, a TUE can last up to a maximum of ten years. Athletes have the responsibility to keep track of the validity of their TUE and if necessary, to apply for a renewal before it expires.
When to apply for a TUE:
- A National-Level athlete should apply to JADCO for a TUE. A TUE granted by JADCO is valid at the national level only.
- If the athlete becomes an International-Level athlete or competes in an International Event, the TUE granted by JADCO would not be valid for those purposes unless it is recognised by the relevant International Federation or Major Event Organisation in accordance with the criteria set out in the 2015 International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
- An International-Level athlete who does not already have a TUE from JADCO should apply to his or her International Federation for a TUE.
- Any TUE that an athlete obtains from an International Federation would not be valid if the athlete competes in an international event organised by a Major Event Organisation, unless the relevant Major Event Organisation recognises the TUE in accordance with the criteria set out in the 2015 International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
- Athletes who do not have a TUE from an International Federation or JADCO and are competing at an international event organised by a Major Event Organisation should apply directly to the Major Event Organisation for a TUE.
- If an International Federation or Major Event Organisation (as applicable) declines to recognise a TUE, then subject to the athlete’s rights of review and appeal, that TUE may not be relied upon to excuse the presence, use, possession or administration of the prohibited substance or prohibited method mentioned in the TUE in question.
TUE Recognition Process
TUES granted by JADCO or other Anti-Doping Organisations should be recognised by other Anti-Doping Organisations once they satisfy the conditions for granting a TUE under the Code. If an athlete becomes subject to the TUE requirements of an International Federation or Major Event Organisation and already has a TUE, the athlete should not submit an application for a new TUE to the International Federation or Major Event Organisation. Instead:
The International Federation or Major Event Organisation may publish notice that it will automatically recognise TUE decisions, for example those made by specified Anti-Doping Organisations or those relating to particular prohibited substances; provided that such TUE decisions were reported in accordance with the 2015 International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
- An athlete should check the website of the International Federation and/or Major Event Organisation to see if their TUE falls into a category of TUEs that would be automatically recognised.
- In the absence of such automatic recognition, the athlete should submit a request for recognition of the TUE to the International Federation or Major Event Organisation, as applicable. The request should be accompanied by a copy of the TUE and the original TUE application form and supporting materials.
- Incomplete requests for the recognition of a TUE will be returned to the athlete for completion and re-submission. In addition, the TUEC of the applicable International Federation or Major Event Organisation may require additional information such as imaging studies, medical examinations, etc, in order to consider recognition. Any cost incurred will be the responsibility of the athlete.
- The TUEC will decide whether or not to recognise the TUE within no more than 21 days.
- The TUEC’s decision will notify the athlete in writing. The decision will also be made available to WADA and other Anti-Doping Organisations.
If an athlete needs help to determine whether he/she needs to submit a TUE application to an International Federation or a Major Event Organisation for a TUE to be granted or for it to be recognised, please contact us and we can guide you through the process.
Applying for a TUE
A national level athlete who needs a TUE should apply as soon as possible.
(Please see the above section When to apply for a TUE if you are an International level athlete or you are applying for a TUE to a Major Event Organisation)
For substances that are prohibited In-competition, an athlete should apply at least 30 days before his/her competition.
- The athlete should submit their TUE application to JADCO.
- The application must be accompanied by a statement by an appropriately qualified physician attesting to the need for the athlete to use the prohibited substance or prohibited method.
- The application should also contain comprehensive medical history, including documentation from the original diagnosing physician(s) (where possible) and the results of all examinations, laboratory investigations and imaging studies relevant to the application.
- The athlete should keep a complete copy of the TUE application form and all information submitted in support of that application.
- A TUE application would only be considered by the TUEC following the receipt of a properly completed application form, accompanied by all relevant documents. Incomplete applications will be returned to the athlete for completion and re-submission.
- The TUEC may request from the athlete or his/her physician any additional information, examinations or imaging studies, or other information that it deems necessary in order to consider the athlete’s application; and/or seek the assistance of such other medical or scientific experts as appropriate.
- Any cost incurred by the athlete in making the TUE application and in supplementing it as required by the TUEC, is the responsibility of the athlete.
- The TUEC shall decide whether or not to grant the application within no more than 21 days of receipt of a complete application.
- The TUEC’s decision would be communicated in writing to the athlete.
- The prohibited substance or method, dose, frequency, route and duration of administration would be specified.
- Each TUE will have a specified duration, as decided by the TUEC, at the end of which the TUE will expire automatically. If the athlete needs to continue to use the prohibited substance or prohibited method after the expiry date, he/she must submit an application for a new TUE well in advance of that expiry date, so that there is sufficient time for a decision to be made.
- In the event that, after his/her TUE is granted, the athlete requires a materially different dosage, frequency, route or duration of administration of the prohibited substance or prohibited method from that specified in the TUE, he/she must apply for a new TUE. If the presence, use, possession or administration of the prohibited substance or prohibited method is not consistent with the terms of the TUE granted, the athlete can still be subject to an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.
A TUE will only be considered following the receipt of a completed application including all relevant documentation.
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