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Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)

NOTE: Therapeutic Use Exemptions are NOT to be confused with ‘Medical Exemptions’ granted under the CAMS Illicit Drugs in Sport Policy.  The two types of exemptions, although similar concepts, are completely separate processes and are governed by separate policies.  If you’re unsure which exemption you should be applying for, contact the CAMS Integrity Officer in the first instance at integrity@cams.com.au or 03 9593 7777.

What is a TUE?
A TUE is an exemption that permits a competitor to use a prohibited substance or method, if medically required.

Competitors can only receive a TUE if there is no unfair advantage from taking the substance or using the method.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) defines the criteria for determining whether a TUE is granted to a competitor. These criteria are:

  • The competitor would experience a significant impairment to their health without the use of the prohibited substance or method;
  • The therapeutic use of the prohibited substance or method would produce no additional enhancement of performance; and
  • There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or method.

The body responsible for reviewing applications and issuing TUEs in Australia is the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC). For international competitors, such applications are managed by the FIA.

CAMS can assist competitors with applications for TUEs but is in no way involved in deciding the outcome of an application.

Do you need a TUE?
Under the WADA Code’s ‘strict liability’ principle, you – the competitor – are responsible for any substance found in your body, regardless of how it got there.  This principle also extends to any substance that you are taking for medical reasons. 

To understand whether you require a TUE, and if so what type of TUE you require, consider the following:

  1. Are you taking a medication or using a method that is on the WADA Prohibited List? To check this, conduct a search using ASADA’s online GlobalDRO tool (http://www.globaldro.com/AU/search) and/or WADA’s Prohibited List (http://list.wada-ama.org/).  

If the answer is YES, then…

2. Do you need an in-advance or retroactive TUE?

Do you qualify for an ‘in-advance’ TUE?
Only certain, higher level competitors need to apply for a TUE in-advance. In-advance TUEs need to be applied for before taking the medication (except for emergency situations). Under current regulations (as at March 2016), the following competitors are required to apply for an in-advance TUE if using a prohibited substance or method:

How do you apply for an ‘in-advance’ TUE?
Any competitor who meets the criteria listed above (i.e. international-level) needs to apply for a TUE, in advance, directly to the FIA. Or, if you are an international-level competitor who already holds a current TUE issued by ASDMAC, you need to apply to the FIA to recognise the TUE – otherwise it remains valid at the national-level only.

To apply for a TUE through the FIA, visit the TUE section of the FIA website. There you will find application forms and other relevant information.

For assistance with the TUE process, contact the CAMS Integrity Officer at integrity@cams.com.au or 03 9593 7777.

Do you qualify for a ‘retroactive’ TUE?
If you do not fit the criteria described under the ‘in-advance’ TUE section above, you should prepare for a retroactive TUE application by taking the following steps:

  1. Have a medical file prepared with the information needed for a TUE in case an application is needed. 
  2. The information/evidence needed for TUE applications can be found on the WADA website. Show the relevant information to your doctor.
  3. If you are tested you should declare any medication you are taking on your doping control form.
  4. If you are informed that your sample has returned an adverse analytical finding (also known as a ‘positive’ test), you need to apply to ASDMAC for a retroactive TUE.

Retroactive TUEs may also be granted if:

  • Emergency treatment or treatment of an acute medical condition was necessary;
  • Due to other exceptional circumstances, there was insufficient time or opportunity for the competitor to submit, or for ASDMAC to consider, an application for the TUE prior to sample collection; or
  • WADA and ASDMAC agree that fairness requires the granting of a retroactive TUE.

How do you apply for a ‘retroactive’ TUE?
Any competitor who meets the criteria listed above for a retroactive TUE needs to apply for a TUE directly to ASDMAC. To reiterate, this only needs to occur if  you are tested and only if your test returns a ‘positive’ reading for a banned substance.

To apply for a TUE through ASDMAC, visit the TUE section of the ASADA website.  There you will find application forms and other relevant information. 

For assistance with the TUE process, contact the CAMS Integrity Officer at integrity@cams.com.au or 03 9593 7777.