There are situations in which athletes need to take a prohibited substance or use a prohibited method, as specified by the Prohibited List, for health reasons. The anti-doping rules therefore stipulate therapeutic use exemptions, or TUE for short.
In the event of a medical emergency, health comes first. Emergency therapies should be administered immediately, even if this involves using prohibited substances or methods according to the Prohibited List. Any necessary TUE application should be submitted as soon as the health situation allows. This applies at both national and international levels.
National and International TUE Regulations
The World Anti-Doping Agency defines the rules relating to TUE in an International Standard (ISTUE). In addition, International federations as well as national anti-doping organizations establish the relevant rules for their respective area of responsibility. The same applies to the organizers of major events (e.g. IOC, IPC, FISU).
At the international level, a different procedure may be required to that at the national level. In the case of planned participation in international competitions, the regulations of the relevant international federation should be checked well in advance. It is important to note that international competitions may also take place in Switzerland (in accordance with the regulations of the relevant international federation).
Antidoping Switzerland defines the regulations applicable at the national level in its Regulatory Statutes for Therapeutic Use Exemptions of 2015.
A prospective TUE means that an exemption must be obtained prior to the start of treatment to ensure that the athlete in question is protected against an anti-doping rule violation by the corresponding therapy. Prospective TUEs may be required by international federations, the IOC, the FISU, and Antidoping Switzerland. To find out if you need to apply for an advance TUE, please use the TUE Wizard.
The TUE regulations state that certain athletes do not need to be in possession of a valid TUE right before the start of the therapy. These athletes have the option of applying for a TUE retroactively, i.e. after a possible doping test.
The medical examination must be established before the start of therapy and documented by the physician. In addition, the progression of the illness and therapy follow up must be documented carefully. For a retrospective TUE, this comprehensive medical documentation must be submitted. To find out if you can apply for a retroactive TUE, please use the TUE Wizard.