World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”)
WADA is the international independent agency that is charged with developing anti-doping policies and monitoring the World Anti-Doping Code (“Code”). The Code is the document that harmonizes all the anti-doping policy in all sports and countries.
WADA produces an athlete guide that is available for download through WADA’s website at www.wada-ama.org/en/Resources/Publications/Athlete-Guide/. This is an excellent resource to help professional runners understand the World Anti-Doping Code and their rights and responsibilities relating to the doping control process.
The “Prohibited List”
The World Anti-Doping Agency maintains the official list of banned substances called the “Prohibited List.” It is officially updated each year and is effective each Jan. 1. The Prohibited List is a compilation, by category, of prohibited substances and methods. Prohibited substances include Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS), Diuretics and Other Masking Agents, and Stimulants. Some substances are banned only in competition, while others are banned ALL THE TIME. Prohibited Methods include blood doping and tampering with your urine sample.
The Prohibited List is available at: www.wada-ama.org/en/Resources/Publications/Prohibited-List/. There is also an iPhone App and other mobile device programs available.
CAUTION: The Prohibited List is complicated and technical. It is not enough that an athlete did not see a substance specifically listed. Many substances have multiple names and synonyms. Also, the prohibited list contains several catch-all provisions for “other substances with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s).” An athlete can test positive for a substance that falls under this provision even though it is not specifically listed.
Bottom line: It is your responsibility to know what substances go into your body. Consult with USADA (see below) before taking ANY medications or supplements. If you are unsure about the contents of something that you are thinking about ingesting, DO NOT TAKE IT. There are numerous documented cases where athletes have tested positive for substances in supplements because the supplement was tainted or was not labeled properly. “I did not know it was in there” is not a valid defense and a positive test, despite your ignorance of the substance, will result, with very rare exception, in a suspension from competition.
When in doubt, leave it out.