One of the most crucial elements of being a performance athlete and pushing your body to its limits is to be fully aware of what supplements, herbal remedies and medication you are ingesting. Please view the South African institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) information on Supplements at the following link: http://www.drugfreesport.org.za/education-2/supplements-and-their-risks/ and the SAIDS Supplement Position Statement at: http://www.drugfreesport.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/SAIDS-Position-Statement-ADULTS-version4.pdf. Furthermore, SAIDS and/or WADA or any other anti-doping agency would never approve or endorse supplements. We advise athletes to take great caution when using any type of supplement.
Pushing your body to the maximum when performing at top level year in and year out takes its toll on your system, and typically manifests itself in the form of colds and flu when you slow down your racing and training regime in your off-season.
It is during these times that athletes may require surgery to nagging injuries, or require a “system reboot” by resting and recuperating tired muscles and depleted energy before the next season begins. Be aware of what substances you take, and ensure that they comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) guidelines.
On Friday 29 September 2017, WADA released the 2018 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods https://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20171024_prohibited_list_2018_en.pdf (List); along with the 2018 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes https://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20171024_prohibited_list_2018_summary_of_modifications_en.pdf. The List, which was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee on 24 September 2017 and is updated annually, comes into force on 1 January 2018.
The List designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition; and which substances are banned in particular sports.
In efforts to keep the sport of cycling clean, cyclists are urged to familiarise themselves with the latest edition of the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. In doing so, any medication that you may be ingesting can be validated against the list. You can check the status of the medication that you are using at the following link: http://www.drugfreesport.org.za/online-medication-check/.
You may have an illness that requires continuous treatment with medication. So, what do you do if your medication falls under the WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Methods? You are entitled to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). This process affords athletes an opportunity to obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.
Please check the SAIDS information on TUEs and who needs to apply for a TUE at the following link: http://www.drugfreesport.org.za/who-needs-to-apply-for-a-tue/
The SAIDS website and app http://www.drugfreesport.org.za/app/ are useful online resources to check the status of your medication. The app is available for Android, iPhone, Nokia Lumia and other selected mobile phones, and it is advisable to share the app with your physicians and pharmacists when medication is prescribed. The website also offers provision to report doping in sport http://www.drugfreesport.org.za/contact-us/ and to a host of information, including the SAIDS rules.
Just as every competitive cyclist should know the rules of the sport, the same applies to knowing if your substances and methods appear on the banned list or not. The process of TUE and the List are in place to facilitate fair play in sport. But it is up to each and every cyclist to train and race responsibly. In doing so, it not only contributes to a clean sport, but also to a clear conscience. The stigma attached to being found guilty of using a banned substance is the reality that is worth considering. Whether you take medication that contains prohibited substances for a legitimate reason, or whether you are actually trying to cheat the system, the outcome of testing positive for a banned substance is the same – i.e. you may be sanctioned for an anti-doping rule violation. If you are unsure of any medication that you have been prescribed or intend using, please contact SAIDS at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 021 686 1634 to clarify its status.
To view the changes made in the 2018 Prohibited List https://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20171024_prohibited_list_2018_en.pdf as compared to the 2017 version, please see the 2018 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes https://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20171024_prohibited_list_2018_summary_of_modifications_en.pdf.
Exercise caution when you train and race, and play fair.