Asthma medication

Some asthma medications are permitted in sports. However, in order to use certain asthma medications, athletes must apply for a TUE.

β2-agonists (bronchodilating asthma medication):

  1. Inhaled formoterol (maximum 54 micrograms over 24 hours), salbutamol (maximum 1600 micrograms over 24 hours, not to exceed 800 micrograms every 12 hours) and salmeterol (maximum 200 micrograms over 24 hours) are permitted. If used in higher doses or by other administration methods (as tablets or a mixture, for instance), these substances are prohibited in sports and require a Therapeutic Use Exemption.
  2. Other β2-agonists (such as fenoterol, terbutaline and vilanterol) are prohibited in sports. Their use requires a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

Glucocorticoids (therapeutic asthma medication):

  1. Inhaled glucocorticoids are permitted in sports.
  2. Orally administered glucocorticoids (tablets) are prohibited. A TUE for their use should be applied for, when necessary*.

* Glucocorticoids are tested only from doping test samples taken in connection with competition events. When administered as tablets, their withdrawal time is approximately seven days.

Minimum requirements for medical records

When an athlete applies for a TUE for medication for asthma or asthma-like conditions, the medical records must provide at least the following information:

  1. Full medical history related to asthma
  2. Results of clinical examinations performed by a physician, especially with regard to respiratory organs.
  3. Spirometry findings, including forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1).
  4. If congestion of the airway can be proven by way of spirometry, the spirometry is repeated following the inhalation of short-acting ß2-agonist in order to clarify the reversibility of bronchial contraction.
  5. If the bronchial contraction is not reversible, the abnormal contraction tendency of the bronchi is proved by way of a suitable challenge test.
  6. Full name of the physician who performed the examination, speciality and contact information (address, telephone number, e-mail and fax).
  7. Medical reasons for why this specific pharmacological substance, which is prohibited in sports, is needed for the treatment, if there exists a corresponding alternative, which is permitted in sports.
Anna Simula

Anna Simula

Pharmacist, TUEs

phone: +358 400 338 510


Pekka Rauhala

Pekka Rauhala

Medical expert

phone: +358 400 801 411