Pure Winner 2021


Our aim at Pure Winner is to provide information, education and support for athletes and athlete support personnel, so

What do Athletes need to Know?

Athletes are solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their system despite whether there was an intention to cheat or not.  Athletes can be tested in and out of competition at any time, so it is important to know your anti-doping rights and responsibilities.  Be informed as the consequence of breaking Anti-doping Rules can be anything from 1 year to 4 year sanction or lifetime ban.  

 Ultimately it’s your body and your responsibility!

Here’s a summary of the key things you need to know:

Strict Liability; Prohibited list; Checking Medication; Social Drugs; Drug Testing; Anti-doping Rule Violations; Report Doping in Sport and WADA Code;

What is Strict Liability?

“The athlete is responsible and strictly liable whenever a prohibited substance is found in their bodily specimen.” – This is the ‘Strict Liability’ Clause in the WADA Code.

The principle of strict liability is applied in situations where urine/blood/dried blood spot samples collected from an athlete have produced adverse analytical results. It means that each athlete is strictly liable for the substances found in his or her sample, and that an anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance (or its metabolites or markers) is found, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault (https://www.wada-ama.org/en/questions-answers/strict-liability-in-anti-doping).

How do athletes know what they can and cannot take?

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods annually and it comes into effect on 1st January every year.  Here are the key things you need to know about the WADA Prohibited List.

What Athletes Need to Know ANTI Doping

The Prohibited List is updated annually (Update Prohibited list 2023) following an extensive consultation process. Additional substances or methods may be added to the List at any time during the year but this will only occur after a three month notice period.

Other technical changes are detailed throughout the List and athletes and support personnel are encouraged to makes themselves familiar with these. The complete Prohibited List, along with questions, answers and information on WADA’s monitoring programme can be found on WADA’s website: www.wada-ama.org

The Prohibited List is complicated due to changes that may come into place anytime during the year.  The best way to approach this is by checking the prohibited status of your medication on the following websites and keep a record of your search. If there is no alternative medication you can check if you need a ‘Therapeutic Use Exemption’ certificate in place before taking your meds.

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How can you check your Medication?

globaldroMedication purchased in Northern Ireland: www.globaldro.co.uk

Sport Ireland Medication purchased in Republic of Ireland: https://medcheck.sportireland.ie/

Don’t forget…

Pseudoephedrine is found in many over-the-counter medicines available in pharmacies, including multi-ingredient products used as cough and cold remedies, hayfever and decongestant treatments and is still prohibited in-competition if over the urinary concentration threshold.

Methylhexaneamine also remains on the Prohibited List as a specified substance.  This stimulant is known by other chemical names such as DMAA, Forthan, Floradrene, ‘geranium oil’ or ‘geranium root extract’ and is often marketed as a nutritional supplement.

Tramadol is a strong painkiller available on prescription. The narcotic tramadol will be included on WADA Prohibited List – In-competition from 1 January 2024. The delay in implementation, is to enable athletes and athlete support personnel across all sports to prepare for the change, WADA- Accredited Laboratories to update their analysis procedures, and education tools to be developed.

Cyclists: Be aware.  To preserve the rider’s health and safety, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has already banned tramadol across all disciplines and categories. The decision was made, In light of the side-effects, negative health effects, dependency/addition risks and the potential to increase the risk of race crashes. Any rider taking part in a UCI-registered event (Internationally or Nationally) may be selected to provide a blood sample for tramadol testing. Refer to UCI Website for current Team and individual sanctions.

Note: (Recreational drugs including cannabis and cocaine are prohibited and tested for in-competition)

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Check your supplements carefully

Be really careful! Supplements may contain an ingredient that’s prohibited in sport. Recently changes have related to supplements, or ingredients that may find their way into them during the production process.

Always be vigilant and take a food-first approach to nutrition.

Athletes should be aware that prohibited substances can be found in certain dietary supplements, marketed for increasing lean muscle mass and products marketed for fat burning and pre-workout.

With no advanced notice Athletes can be tested, any time, any place. It can happen in-competition at events, or out-of-competition, in training venues, or even at an athlete’s home.

Remember: Assess the Need – Assess the Risk – Assess the Consequences.

Testing Process - How will the testing happen? 

Testing Bottles

You will be selected and then notified of the test, (urine or blood or both) a doping control officer will be with you to complete forms for the test and to guide you through the testing process. In competition, if you need to request a delay for your test (e.g. medal ceremony, media, warm down) this can be permitted by the doping control officer or chaperone who notified you. You will be asked to select a choice of sample collection kits and to provide a sample, under the supervision of the Doping Officer.

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Your sample will be verified, paperwork completed and stored securely. Failure or refusal to undertake the test may result in a 4 year ban.

If you know your Athlete’ Rights and Responsibilities prior to testing it will help you to have a better understanding of the process.

Anti-doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)

ADRV Table

There are 11 ADRVs with related sanctions depending on the type of violation.  Further information is available from UKAD


Reporting Doping

Through reporting doping WADA, Sport Ireland and UKAD seek support and help to keep sport clean.   No matter how small your concern the organisations encourage you to share information by contacting them:   You could have the missing jigsaw piece to complete their research.

WADAReporting  – how to support WADA through their speak up programme for reporting doping.

UKADReporting – how to support UKAD through reporting doping or suspicions of doping.

Sport IrelandReporting – reasons for reporting and how to report information and concerns of possible doping in sport.

World Anti-doping Agency Code

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The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) has developed the WADA Code to regulate Anti-doping andaims to provide consistency for sport organisations.  The new 2021 Code works alongside international standards; The International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI); The International Standard for Laboratories (ISL); The International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE); The International Standard for the Prohibited List (The List); The International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information (ISPPPI) and The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS); The International Standard for Education (ISE); and the International Standard for Results Management (ISRM).   The Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act aims to ensure that athletes’ rights are clearly set out, accessible and applied universally.

 Want to know more?

Check out more information on the WADA, UKAD or Sport Ireland websites.