ITU Anti-Doping Update

by Brian Mahony on 08 Jan, 2010 10:00

The ITU Anti-doping Team would like to call attention to an advisory that was issued recently that deals with the changes of the status of the Beta-2 Agonists Change Status on the 2010 Prohibited List.

The following advisory is from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) but is relevant to many of our international athletes.

(Ottawa, Ontario – January 6, 2010) – The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) would like to inform athletes, physicians, therapists, coaches, and other members of the sport community about the change in status of certain beta-2 agonists, which are commonly found in asthma medications. This is a follow-up to previous advisory notes concerning the new 2010 World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Salmeterol and salbutamol are no longer prohibited when administered by inhalation only. They require a declaration of use, which can be provided on the doping control form at the time of testing, or through ADAMS if required by an athlete’s international federation.
Salbutamol is still prohibited when administered by any route other than inhalation, e.g., oral (pill form). If salbutamol is detected during drug testing procedures at a level above 1000 ng/mL, the athlete will have the burden of demonstrating through a controlled study that this urinary level was the result of therapeutic inhaled use of this medication.
All other beta-2 agonists (e.g., terbutaline and formoterol) are still prohibited when administered by any route including inhalation.
Athletes requiring prohibited beta-2 agonists must apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for asthma, including a complete beta-2 agonist annex and a medical file. Athletes subject to doping control should consult the CCES website ( or contact their international federation to get complete information on the application processes.

In addition, athletes selected for doping control must remember to declare the use of all prescribed medications (e.g., asthma medications and glucocorticosteroids) and all non-prescribed medications and supplements taken in the last 10 days.

The common asthma medications containing beta-2 agonists and the process required to use them in sport.
Asthma Medications needing Declaration of Use
Advair (fluticasone and salmeterol)
Ventolin (salbutamol)*
*when administered by inhalation, and below a urinary threshold of 1000 ng/mL.

Asthma Medications needing TUEs
Bricanyl (terbutaline)
Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol)

Athletes can verify the prohibited status of their medication using the Global DRO at, which was updated on January 1, 2010 to reflect the new Prohibited List. Alternately, the CCES can provide information about Canadian medications by email at or by toll-free telephone at 1-800-672-7775.

Further reading:
World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List
WADA Medical Guidelines for Asthma
WADA International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions

If you have any questions or comments about ITU’s Anti-doping programme, please contact

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