Questions and Answers on 2012 Prohibited List

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What major changes have been made to the 2012 List compared to the 2011 List?

- Formoterol added as an exception to beta-2 agonists

One of the most significant changes to the 2012 List is the removal of formoterol from ‘Section 3 Beta-2 Agonists’ of the List when taken by inhalation at therapeutic dosages.

Taking into account recent research results and concerns expressed by members of the sports community, inhaled formoterol at therapeutic doses is no longer prohibited.

The List prohibits the administration of all beta-2 agonists except salbutamol (maximum 1600 micrograms over 24 hours), salmeterol when taken by inhalation, and now formoterol (maximum 36 micrograms taken over 24 hours).

The issue of beta-2 agonists will continue to be a focus of WADA’s research activity in order to ensure that the administration of large doses or by systemic routes of these substances is prevented and prohibited, but that the appropriate care and treatment of asthmatic athletes is facilitated.

- Nicotine placed on monitoring program

In order to detect potential patterns of abuse, nicotine has been placed on WADA’s 2012 Monitoring Program.

It is NOT WADA’s intention to target smokers, rather to monitor the effects nicotine can have on performance when taken in oral tobacco products such as snus.

Nicotine is one of several stimulants added to the Monitoring Program, along with the narcotics hydrocodone and tramadol. Out-of-competition use of glucocorticosteroids has also been included.

Under Article 4.5 of the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA is mandated to establish a monitoring program regarding substances that are not on the List, but which the Agency wishes to monitor in order to detect patterns of misuse.

- Alcohol and beta-blockers

At the request of the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ), alcohol is no longer included on the List as a prohibited in-competition substance for ninepin and tenpin bowling.

After a review by WADA and following discussions with stakeholders, bobsleigh and skeleton, curling, modern pentathlon, motorcycling, sailing and wrestling have also been removed from the list of sports included in the List in which beta-blockers are prohibited.

- Non-approved substances

The section for non-approve substances – S0 – has been moved under the section for Prohibited Substances so that it clarified that methods are not included.

Furthermore, in order to broaden the scope of this section a word change has been made, with “i.e.” being replaced by “e.g.”, while more substances have been added to clarify the scope of this section.

Substances will be included in S0 only after all other categories have been considered inadequate. Substances included in S0 are considered specified.

What is the status of clenbuterol?

Clenbuterol is a prohibited substance and there is no threshold under which this substance is not prohibited.

At present, and based on expert opinions, there is no plan to introduce a threshold level for clenbuterol.

It is possible that under certain circumstance the presence of a low level of clenbuterol in an athlete sample can be the result of food contamination. However, each case is different and all elements need to be taken into account, along with the context of the case.

Under the World Anti-Doping Code, result management of cases foresees the opportunity for an athlete to explain how a prohibited substance entered his/her body

WADA is working closely with countries, International Federations and event organizers to help minimize the risk of contamination through the monitoring of meat to official hotels and restaurants. This is a government issue and not a WADA issue.

What is the status of methylhexaneamine (MHA)?

Methylhexaneamine (MHA), which sometimes is presented as dimethylamylamine, remains prohibited in competition as a specified stimulant under Section 6.b.

It has been considered a stimulant at least since WADA took over responsibility for the List in 2004. It was reclassified on the 2011 List to become a ‘specified substance’.

Methylhexaneamine was sold as a medicine up to the early 1970s and has medicinal properties, but to WADA’s knowledge it has not been sold as a medicine since then.

What is the link between geranium oil and methylhexaneamine (MHA)?

Recent scientific studies have clearly demonstrated that natural geranium oil does not contain methylhexaneamine (MHA), and the use of geranium oil cannot be considered as being the source of the presence of MHA or related metabolites in a urine sample collected for anti-doping purposes.

Methylhexaneamine (MHA) is a pharmacological substance classified as a stimulant that was commercialized up to the beginning of the seventies. MHA reappeared a few years ago as a constituent of dietary supplements sold freely on some markets or on the Internet. MHA is prohibited as a stimulant under section S6.b of the 2012 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods.

Athletes should be aware that MHA has been made available under several names, one being geranium oil.

What is the status of caffeine?

The status of caffeine has not changed from last year. Caffeine was removed from the Prohibited List in 2004. Its use in sport is not prohibited.

Caffeine is part of WADA's Monitoring Program. This program includes substances which are not prohibited in sport, but which WADA monitors in order to detect patterns of misuse in sport.

The 2010 and 2011 Monitoring Programs did not reveal global specific patterns of misuse of caffeine in sport, though a significant increase in consumption in the athletic population is observed.

What is the status of actovegin?

It has not changed from last year and Actovegin is not prohibited in sport under the WADA List except if it is used by intravenous infusion.
Intravenous infusions are prohibited according to section M2 (Chemical and Physical Manipulation) of the List.

Intravenous injections with a simple syringe are permitted if the injected substance is not prohibited, the volume does not exceed 50 mL, and the intravenous injections are given at intervals equal or greater than six hours.

(Additional information can be found in the Medical Information on Intravenous Infusion, available here.)

Actovegin is a deproteinized ultrafiltrate of calf serum and does not contain blood cells susceptible to increase oxygen transport. It was tested by anti-doping laboratories and no growth hormone or prohibited hormones were found.

However, WADA is aware of its use in some sports, possibly in conjunction with other substances that may be prohibited. WADA will therefore continue to closely monitor Actovegin.

What is a specified substance?

A specified substance is a substance which allows, under defined conditions, for a greater reduction of a two-year sanction when an athlete tests positive for that particular substance.

The purpose is to recognize that it is possible for a substance to enter an athlete’s body inadvertently, and therefore allow a tribunal more flexibility when making a sanctioning decision.

Specified substances are not necessarily less serious agents for the purpose of doping than other prohibited substances, and nor do they relieve athletes of the strict liability rule that makes them responsible for all substances that enter his or her body.

However, there is a greater likelihood that these substances could be susceptible to a credible non-doping explanation, as outlined in section 10.4 of the World Anti-Doping Code.

This greater likelihood is simply not credible for certain substances – such as steroids and human growth hormone – and this is why these are not classified as specified.

  • Last Updated September 2011
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