Prohibited List

The list of prohibited substances and methods (known as the “Prohibited List”) is usually published on an annual basis by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The updated list enters into force on January 1 of the new year. Every year, Antidoping Switzerland then publishes the Prohibited List in German and French.

It is the responsibility of each and every athlete to check regularly that the substances and methods they use are not prohibited in sport. For everyday use, we recommend the Medical Inquiry Servie Global DRO.

Medical Inquiry Servie Global DRO

New from 2021: Changes to the Prohibited List

The 2021 Prohibited List (German / French) enters into force on 1 January 2021 and replaces all previous lists. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has made several modifications to the Prohibited List 2021 which include:

S3 Beta-2 agonists: Vilanterol

From 1 January 2021, administration of Vilanterol through inhalation is permitted up to a maximum dose of 25 micrograms over 24 hours.

Substances of abuse

The Prohibited List 2021 identifies certain substances as “substances of abuse”: cocaine, diamorphine (heroine), methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). From 1 January 2021, use of the aforementioned substances will be subject to less stringent sanctions. NB: these substances of abuse continue to be prohibited in competition in accordance with the Prohibited List 2021.

An exhaustive list of all modifications is provided by the WADA.

Criteria for Prohibited Substances and Methods

The substances and methods that are included in the Prohibited List are decided by the WADA’s List Expert Group, which is made up of international specialists. As part of this process, substances and methods are assessed according to three criteria: Whether they have the potential to improve performance, whether they represent an actual or potential health risk, and whether or not they run counter to the spirit of sport. Substances or methods shall also be prohibited if they mask the use of prohibited substances or methods.

Prohibited Substances and Methods

The Prohibited List organizes prohibited substances into different classes:

Substances and Methods Prohibited at All Times (In and Out of Competition)

  • S0 Non-approved substances
  • S1 Anabolic agents
  • S2 Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances, and mimetics
  • S3 Beta-2 agonists
  • S4 Hormone and metabolic modulators
  • S5 Diuretics and other masking agents
  • M1 Manipulation of blood and blood components
  • M2 Chemical and physical manipulation
  • M3 Gene and cell doping

Substances and Methods Prohibited in-Competition

  • S6 Stimulants
  • S7 Narcotics
  • S8 Cannabinoids
  • S9 Glucocorticoids

Substances Prohibited in Particular Sports

  • P1 Beta-blockers

More detailed information and knowledge (about substances and methods) can be gained from the Mobile Lesson «Substances and Methods» provided by Antidoping Switzerland.

Specified and Non-Specified substances and methods

All prohibited substances and methods are divided into specific and non-specific substances or methods. In the event of violations of the anti-doping provisions, the sentence will generally be higher if non-specific substances or methods have been used. Prohibited substances in the following classes are deemed to be non-specific:

  • S1 Anabolic agents
  • S2 Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances, and mimetics
  • S4 Agents preventing activin receptor IIB activation (i. e. myostatin inhibitor)
  • S4.5 Metabolic modulators
  • S6.a Non-specific stimulants

Prohibited substances in the following classes are deemed to be non-specific:

  • M1 Manipulation of blood and blood components
  • M2.1 Sample Manipulation
  • M3 Gene and cell doping

Substances of Abuse

Some prohibited substances are identified as substances of abuse because they are frequently abused in society outside of the context of sport. Therefore, the use or possession of substances named above may be subject to less stringent sanctions. This applies only if the substances were used outside of competitions and not for the purposes of enhancing performance.

The following are designated substances of abuse: cocaine, diamorphine (heroin), methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA/”ecstasy”), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Provisions Issued by International Sports Federations

In addition to the anti-doping provisions that apply world-wide, athletes must abide by the rules issued by their International Sports Federations. Certain substances and methods are additionally prohibited in certain sports, even though they do not appear on the Prohibited List.

One example here is the International Cycling Union, which forbids the painkiller Tramadol. As a substance, Tramadol does not appear in the Prohibited List, however.