Anti-Doping: Emergency medication

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Emergency medication - can it result in a doping violation?

The scenario

You are enjoying your most successful season to date with a couple of top three finishes. You pride yourself on being a 'clean' rider. Next big race is on Sunday. On the Thursday you end up in hospital with an emergency medical condition and are given a cocktail of medication. You have recovered enough to race.

What if you are tested and the sample produces a positive result?

Firstly, any medication you are given will be necessary to treat your condition. If possible tell the medical staff you may be subject to anti-doping testing as that may affect their decision making. Don't refuse or delay treatment purely because of anti-doping concerns.

Secondly, prior to leaving hospital, obtain a copy of your medical records with details of the medication you were given and a letter from a doctor summarising your condition and the need for the medication. Should you be tested you will need to detail all the medication you have taken in the past 7 days on the relevant form in the doping control facility.

Thirdly, check the medication you have been given on Should the medication not be prohibited then you need do nothing more.

However if the medication is prohibited then:

1. Should you be on the national or international testing pool (you will be on the ADAMs system and will be recording your daily whereabouts) or on a funded UK Sport programme (like the Academy and Olympic Development programmes), you will need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) immediately. (Such a rider would normally apply in advance for a TUE before taking prohibited substances however this is obviously impossible in the case of an emergency)

2. Should you not be on the national or international testing pool or on a funded UK Sport programme and are tested after Sunday's race, then you will need to apply for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption within 10 days of the test.

TUE application forms are available on

Even if your sample produces a positive result it will not be an adverse finding against you so long as you took the medication as prescribed by the doctor.