Athletes may have diseases which must be treated with medicinal products or treatments. When an athlete’s disease requires the use of a substance or method that is prohibited in WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods due to their disease, the athlete may be granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) in accordance with WADA’s International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
Criteria for granting a TUE
When seeing a doctor, an athlete must remember to say that they are subject to doping control. The doctor (together with the athlete) can then, before prescribing medication, check through the Prohibited Substances and Methods in Sports, i.e. KAMU medicine search, (for prescription and over-the-counter medicines available in Finland) or the WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods that the medicine in question is not prohibited in sports. If there exists no permitted alternative for the treatment of the medical condition in question or, for some other reason, it is absolutely necessary to apply a prohibited medicine or prohibited method, a TUE may be granted in order to allow the use of an otherwise prohibited treatment.
A TUE may be granted for any form of therapy mentioned in WADA’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods if all of the following criteria are met:
- The athlete has a diagnosed illness that must be treated with the prohibited substance or method.
- The medicinal use of the substance does not improve the athlete’s performance significantly compared to the athlete’s normal health.
- There is no other medically justified treatment alternative for the use of the prohibited substance or prohibited method.
- The necessity for the use of the prohibited substance or prohibited method is not due to prior use (without a TUE) of a substance or method that was prohibited at the time of such use.
National-level athletes and national sporting events
National-level athletes can apply for a TUE from FINCIS. FINCIS’ Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC) consisting of medical experts may, upon written application by an athlete, grant a TUE for a specified time for the use of a prohibited substance or prohibited method in accordance with WADA’s International Standard for TUEs. TUE decisions made by FINCIS’ Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee concern only national-level athletes and national-level competitions.
A TUE granted by FINCIS’ Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee is valid at any national level worldwide and does not need to be formally recognised by any other National Anti-Doping Organization.
Effect of discipline-specific level determination on TUE applications
Regardless of their age, athletes covered by FINCIS’ discipline-specific level determination must apply for the TUEs they need in advance in accordance with the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions and FINCIS’ guidelines.
Athletes not covered by FINCIS’ discipline-specific level determination are not required to apply for a TUE in advance. However, after a doping test, they must retroactively apply for a TUE to prove that the use of a prohibited substance or method was medically justifiable in accordance with TUE requirements.
International-level athletes and international sporting events
TUE matters concerning international-level athletes and athletes participating in international sports events are handled by International Federations or Major Event Organization (e.g. the International Olympic Committee). Instructions applicable to international-level athletes and athletes who participate in international competitions are described under International TUE processes.
TUE search engine ERKKA
Athletes can use the ERKKA engine to determine whether they should apply for a TUE in advance or retroactively. ERKKA helps also to determine whether they should submit their TUE application to FINCIS or the international sports federation.
How to apply for FINCIS’ Therapeutic Use Exemption
- Use the KAMU medicine search to check whether the medicine to be prescribed is prohibited or permitted.
- Determine if you are covered by FINCIS’ discipline-specific level determination or if you should apply for a TUE through your International Federation.
- If you are covered by FINCIS’ discipline-specific level determination, do not start, at all times, medication or treatment prohibited in sports (in- and out-of-competition) or use a medication during the competition if the use of the medication is prohibited, before a TUE has been granted for it. Please note! This does not apply to situations requiring urgent medical treatment, such as emergency situations!
- First, find out together with your doctor if there exists any permitted alternative to the prohibited medication or treatment.
- Print FINCIS’ TUE application form
- Fill out the application form (preferably in English) together with your doctor.
- The application must be signed by both the doctor and the athlete (and, if necessary, the athlete’s guardian)!
- Attach to the application patient records corroborating the diagnosis, including:
- full medical history related to the medical condition in question
- results of medical examinations and images
- medical justification of why the treatment is necessary
- medical reasons of why the prohibited medication or treatment cannot be replaced by alternatives permitted in sports.
- Before sending, make a copy of the application form and its attachments forfor your records!
- Send the application form with its attachments to FINCIS:
- by post: Valimotie 10, 00380 Helsinki, Finland or
- by email, if you feel that email is a sufficiently secure way of sending health information: email@example.com