WADA publishes Stakeholder Notices regarding potential contamination cases related to meat and diuretics

On 20 May 2021, the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) Executive Committee (ExCo) unanimously approved recommendations from WADA’s Contaminants Working Group regarding Minimum Reporting Levels (MRLs) for growth promoters and diuretics. These recommendations were made in order to assist the anti-doping community as it continues to deal with the complex issue of contamination with substances included on WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods – particularly as it relates to meat and medications.

Following these recommendations, WADA today publishes the following Stakeholder Notices that were developed by the Working Group to provide guidance to Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) regarding the investigative steps they must follow when faced with potential meat contamination and diuretic contamination cases:

 1. Stakeholder Notice regarding potential meat contamination cases

For cases of clenbuterol, ractopamine, zilpaterol or zeranol or its metabolite(s) at a concentration at or below (≤) 5 ng/mL, WADA-accredited laboratories shall report the result as an Atypical Finding, and the Results Management Authority shall conduct an investigation, in accordance with Article 5.2 of the International Standard for Results Management (ISRM), to determine whether that finding may be due to ingestion of contaminated meat.

After following the instructions and investigative steps indicated in the applicable Notice, ADOs may close cases and allow an athlete to retain their results (for samples collected in-competition) if it is determined that the detection of the substance in their sample is consistent with meat contamination. However, if, following the investigation, the Results Management Authority is not satisfied that the Atypical Finding was caused by inadvertent contamination from meat consumed by the athlete prior to sample collection, the Results Management Authority shall pursue the Atypical Finding as an Adverse Analytical Finding in accordance with Article 5.1 of the ISRM.

 2. Stakeholder Notice regarding potential diuretic contamination cases

For cases of acetazolamide, bumetanide, furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide, torasemide and triamterene, the presence of one or more of these diuretics or their metabolite(s) in an athlete’s urine sample at an estimated concentration at or below (≤) 20 ng/mL will not be reported as an Adverse Analytical Finding or as an Atypical Finding. However, where a sample is collected from an athlete participating in a sport or discipline that uses weight classes, WADA-accredited Laboratories shall report the presence of one or more of these six diuretics or their metabolite(s) at an estimated concentration equal to or below (≤) the Minimum Reporting Level of 20 ng/mL as an Atypical Finding, triggering a mandatory investigation by the Results Management Authority to determine whether an Anti-Doping Rule Violation should be asserted. Guidance for such situations is provided in the Notice.

In addition to the above-referenced Notices, on 20 May 2021, the ExCo approved two related Technical Letters (TL23 and TL24) which came into effect today (1 June 2021). These Technical Letters will allow WADA-accredited Laboratories to adjust the levels of selected diuretics and anabolic steroids/growth promoters required to be reported as Adverse Analytical Findings going forward.

WADA hopes that the instructions found in the Notices will assist ADOs in their results management procedures and help to ensure that cases are managed fairly for all athletes.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please contact WADA’s Legal Department at