Triathlon Ireland fully subscribes to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) procedures. According to these, under the strict liability rule, athletes are responsible for any substance that may be found in their bodies.
It does not matter how the substance got there. If an athlete tests positive the result is a disqualification and possible sanction or suspension.
In principle any athlete competing in a triathlon can be tested so each athlete regardless of the level at which they are competing needs to be aware of these guidelines.
You may not realise it but the medication you take regularly to treat a medical condition (Asthma, Diabetes, Hay-fever, Hypertension, etc) could contain a substance which is on the banned list. The easiest way to check your medication is to look it up on the Eirpharm website www.eirpharm.com (medications purchased in the Republic of Ireland) or www.globaldro.com (medications purchased in Northern Ireland).
Athletes seeking permission to use a medication containing a substance on the WADA Prohibited List must seek a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to do so. Depending on what level you are competing at, you may have to apply upfront (get a Pre-test TUE) or you may be permitted to apply retroactively (get a Post-test TUE). Either way, you need to ensure that your medical practitioner has a full medical file in place (see below for further details).
Pre-test TUE: Athletes competing in International competitions and athletes on the International Triathlon Union’s Registered Testing Pool or the Irish Sports Council’s Registered Testing Pool must apply for a TUE prior to using a medication containing a prohibited substance. A TUE form (and supporting medical file) must be submitted to the Irish Sports Council or the International Triathlon Union at least 30 days prior to competing while using a prohibited medication.
Post-test TUE: If you are only competing in domestic triathlons you may take a medication containing a banned substance without applying for a TUE upfront. If you are drug tested and the lab reports a positive result, the Irish Sports Council will contact you and ask you to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. You will need to supply a complete medical file documenting your medical history, diagnosis and medical justification for using a prohibited medication as opposed to a permitted alternative.
An athlete’s medical file would typically consist of:
For further information on the TUE requirements for specific medical conditions please go to the WADA website or contact the Anti-Doping Unit on 01 8608800.
A TUE form is downloadable from the Irish Sports Council’s website.
No matter what standard of athlete, it is imperative that you find out if you are allowed to take your medication while competing in triathlon.
It is very important that you declare ALL MEDICATIONS taken within the last 14 days if you are drug tested. The Doping Control Officer will ask you to list all medications, supplements, etc. you have taken within the last two weeks on the Doping Control Form.
Inadvertent doping occurs when an athlete takes a medication to treat an injury or illness without realising that it contains a prohibited substance. It can also happen when an athlete takes a supplement that may contain impurities such as ingredients that are not listed on the label which could cause a positive test.
Athletes are responsible for checking the status of all substances and medications they consume - ignorance is no excuse. Ultimately athletes are responsible for what they ingest.
A dedicated education certification website has been developed by WADA and is available at http://isc.realwinner.org/
The Irish Sports Council is this body responsible for the administration of anti-doping testing, education and administration. There is more information on their website or you can contact them directly on 01 8608800. A copy of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules can be found on the Irish Sports Council’s website.
Drug Testing/Anti Doping Protocols:
TI subscribes to World Anti Doping Agency protocols and will comply with all requirements in respect of Drug Testing.
TI may notify an organiser that a Testing Unit will attend the event and will liaise in respect of what facilities and equipment will be required. This will usually be provision of an Event Contact Person who will liaise with Doping Control Officer regarding athletes selected for testing, a room with bottled drinking water and toilet facilities.
See here for the ISC Event Contact person Handbook
See here for Testing Overview
For any information in confidence on any of the above issues, please don't hesitate to contact:
Mary T Dawson, Anti-Doping Officer, Triathlon Ireland
Chris Kitchen, CEO Triathlon Ireland