WADA releases Guidance Document on Glucocorticoids and Therapeutic Use Exemptions

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has developed a Guidance Document on Glucocorticoids (GCs) and Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) in order to assist anti-doping stakeholders in their understanding of new rules regarding injectable routes of administration of GCs coming into force under the 2022 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List).

As announced on 30 September 2021, as of 1 January 2022, GCs are prohibited in-competition when administered by all injectable, oral, or rectal routes. Examples of injectable routes of administration include: intravenous, intramuscular, periarticular, intra-articular, peritendinous, intratendinous, epidural, intrathecal, intrabursal, intralesional (e.g. intrakeloid), intradermal, and subcutaneous.

As such, an athlete risks being sanctioned when a GC, its metabolites or markers are found to exceed the laboratory reporting levels in a urine sample collected in-competition.

In order to prevent such occurrences for GCs administered as part of a legitimate medical intervention, the Guidance Document provides information for athletes, support personnel, Anti-Doping Organizations and physicians on the following topics:

  • Glucocorticoids and the List of Prohibited Substances
  • Glucocorticoids and TUE applications
  • Washout periods following administration of glucocorticoids
  • When to apply for a TUE
  • How a TUE Committee would evaluate a glucocorticoid TUE application

In addition to this Guidance, WADA will also publish the following resources in early November 2021 to assist physicians and athletes:

  • Checklists on a number of medical conditions for which glucocorticoids may be used
  • TUE Physician Guidelines for TUE Committees on how to evaluate TUE requests for glucocorticoids for different medical conditions

Upcoming Webinars

In order to further assist stakeholders in their understanding and implementation of the 2022 List, WADA will host webinars on 4 and 5 November 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT in English and French respectivelyParticipants will be taken through the major modifications for 2022 by members of WADA’s List Expert Advisory Group. Should you wish to participate in the webinars, please register here for English and here for French.

In addition, an interactive, invitation-only, TUE webinar for TUE Committee members will be held on 9 December at 08:00 EST. WADA will directly contact Anti-Doping Organizations with more details on how their physicians can register. 

WADA 2022 TUE Symposium in South Korea

As announced on 24 March 2021, WADA will be hosting its re-scheduled TUE Symposium on 21-22 April 2022 in Incheon, South Korea. Further information regarding the format and registration will be released in the coming months.

Should you have any questions regarding the Guidance Document, or any of the above-mentioned resources or activities, we invite you to contact WADA’s Medical Department at: