FAQs

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By clicking on the Prohibited (red box), Not Prohibited (green box) or Conditional (orange box) in the search results additional information will appear.

 

What is Global DRO?

The Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO) is a searchable database that provides information about the prohibited status of specific medications and/or the active ingredient based on the current World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

 

Why can’t I find supplements on Global DRO?

Global DRO does not contain information on any dietary supplement, which also includes homeopathic products, traditional medicines, herbals, and probiotics.

Do not use Global DRO to search for the individual ingredients in a dietary supplement. The dietary supplement may contain prohibited substances even if your search results say the ingredients on the label are not prohibited.

Dietary supplements brands are not included on Global DRO because there is no way to validate that a dietary supplement label is accurate. There are some ingredients on Global DRO that are also sometimes sold in dietary supplements and you can use Global DRO to find out the status of these ingredients, but it would be wrong to conclude that because the ingredients comes up as “not prohibited” on GlobalDRO that the supplement is safe.

We have seen many examples of dietary supplements that contain undeclared ingredients (ingredients not listed on the label). The use of any dietary supplement is at your own risk.  Please visit https://www.asada.gov.au/substances/supplements for more information about the risks of dietary supplements.

 

How often is Global DRO updated?

The specific medications on Global DRO are updated regularly throughout the year when ASADA receives updated brand and drug formulation data from MIMS (the Brand data supplier). The active ingredients are also updated throughout the year as WADA modifies the Prohibited List or as new medications are approved by governmental regulatory authorities.

 

I searched for my medication on Global DRO and the search result says “Not Prohibited”, I can go ahead and take it, right?

Correct. If a substance is not on The World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List, and does not fall into one of the Prohibited List categories, then you can use the medication without incurring an anti-doping rule violation.

 

What does ‘In-competition’ and ‘out-of-competition’ mean?

Unless provided otherwise in the rules of an International Federation or the ruling body of the Event in question, ‘in-competition’ means twelve hours before the start of a competition through the end of the competition (for example, award ceremony and conclusion) including the sample collection process (drug testing process) related to the competition. Keep in mind you may be in-competition for drug testing purposes even though you haven’t arrived at the competition grounds yet, or you have already left!

‘Out-of-competition’ is any time that is not in-competition (for example training, off-season, the days between competitions).

 

If a medication is prohibited, does that mean I can’t take it?     

If your medication is prohibited it means you can't use your medication in sport unless you have an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), or you may incur an anti-doping rule violation. ASADA does not provide medical advice. Your decision to take a substance (prohibited or not) is between you and your doctor. If you need to use a prohibited substance in sport for health reasons you should apply for a TUE. Please visit https://www.asada.gov.au/therapeutic-use-exemption for information about how to apply for a TUE.

 

Why can’t I find my medication on Global DRO?

That particular Brand name may not be in the database. Try searching for the active ingredients found on the front of the medication packaging. If you can’t find the ingredients or you are not sure about the results CLICK on the ‘Contact ASADA’ link on the Global DRO search results page or email substance.enquiries@asada.gov.au

 

What is the “reference number” that appears on the results page?

The reference number is proof of your search and of your results. Using this reference number ASADA can confirm the advice you were given when you searched Global DRO. Save this number, or print out or email a copy of your results to yourself. The reference number appears on the search results page. This reference number is randomly generated and does not contain information which identifies an individual, but can be used to confirm the specific search you performed.

 

Why are there five countries to choose from on the Global DRO page?

When you visit Global DRO you will have to identify your sport nationality (if you are an Australian athlete, then you will arrive on the ASADA Global DRO page) and the country where you purchased your medication. It is important to accurately select the country where you bought your medication because the same brand name might refer to a completely different product in another country. By choosing a specific country, brands of medication specific to that country of purchase are searched.

 

Are homeopathic medications on Global DRO?

No, homeopathic medications are not on Global DRO. There is no way to validate the contents of homeopathic medications. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) sometimes issues warnings relating to homeopathic medications. For the latest information or warnings about homeopathic medications please visit http://www.tga.gov.au/

 

I get a lot of results when I type in my medication - how do I know I have the right one?

Each Brand of medication (especially over-the-counter medications) may come in a variety of dosages (e.g. 10mg, 100mgs) and forms (e.g. tablet, capsules, drops) and flavours creating a long list of potential matches on Global DRO. Review the list carefully for an exact match with your product. The most important thing is to ensure you get the status of each ingredient on the medication packaging. Check your Global DRO search results against the active ingredients listed on your product to make sure that they match. If they don’t, then search for each ingredient individually or contact substance.enquiries@asada.gov.au or click on the ‘Contact ASADA’ link on Global DRO to get more information about your medication.  

 

Why can I not find the brand name of my cough, cold or flu medicine on Global DRO?

Some cough, cold and flu products contain prohibited substances, and this category of products changes so often that it’s difficult to make sure the formulation of recent products are up-to-date on Global DRO. Furthermore, sometimes people use old medicines from their medicine cabinets that could be off the market. To make sure you get accurate information read the medication packaging and search GlobalDRO for each active ingredient. Be careful that some formulas contain the prohibited stimulant pseudoephedrine. If you are still not sure about your cold and flu product please contact substance.enquiries@asada.gov.au or use the feedback button on GlobalDRO.

 

Are intravenous infusions (IVs) prohibited?

Yes, intravenous infusions are a prohibited method, even if the substance being infused is permitted, if the volume is more than 50mL per 6 hour period.  The only exception is if you are admitted to hospital, undergoing surgery, or a clinical investigation (ie. a diagnostic procedure). If your medical condition requires intravenous infusions that take place outside of the hospital, such as on the field of play, in a post-race medical tent, or in a medical clinic, then you should apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). WADA has clarified that the use of IV infusions to treat mild dehydration or simply accelerate recovery IS NOT an acceptable medical use of IVs in sport. For more information please read https://www.wada-ama.org/en/resources/science-medicine/medical-information-to-support-the-decisions-of-tuecs-intravenous

 

The beta-2-agonist inhaler I am prescribed for asthma has a threshold listed for the inhaler dose, but not a nebulizer dose. What is the maximum amount of the nebulizer I can use?

The beta-2-agonists prescribed for asthma (or other diagnosed respiratory or lung condition) that have a limited dose or threshold set by WADA include inhaled salbutamol, inhaled formoterol, and salmeterol (please see the WADA Prohibited List for current threshold limits). These include the isomers when available.

When inhaled as a nebulized treatment, the amount is more per each nebulizer unit-dose than that for inhalers of the same medication. The nebulizer device does not deliver that full amount into your lungs. Instead, only a fraction of that dose is inhaled. The amount reaching your lungs per treatment is dependent on both the nebulizer device you use and the way in which that medical device nebulizes the specific drug.

ASADA does not maintain a list of all nebulizer devices or the percentage of drug each administers. As the athlete, you should contact the manufacturer of the nebulizer device and ask what percentage of the drug you are using is administered with each dose. If the amount inhaled is higher than the dose allowed by WADA, submit a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the use of your nebulizer and related inhalers.

 

Cortisone says prohibited by some routes but permitted for others. Why is that?

Corticosteroids are prohibited in-competition by systemic routes (i.e. affecting the whole body). If you need to use glucocorticoids orally, intravenously, by intramuscular injection, as a rectal suppository or rectal cream and you are competing soon, you might need a TUE.  Visit https://www.asada.gov.au/therapeutic-use-exemption for more information.

Topical creams or localised injections of glucocorticoids are not prohibited (such as into bursa, into joints, or into the epidural space).

 

Pseudoephedrine is prohibited In-Competition. When do I need to stop taking it before the event?

WADA recommends athletes to stop taking any product containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) at least 24 hours before competition. Amounts greater than the 150μg/mL threshold level will be counted as a positive doping test. WADA’s guidance is available at https://wada-main-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/resources/files/WADA_Additional_Info_Pseudoephedrine_2010_EN.pdf

Is donating plasma prohibited?

Yes, WADA has issued a public statement confirming that plasmapheresis is prohibited under M1.1 for the donor because the donor’s own red blood cells and other blood components are reintroduced into the circulatory system after the plasma has been separated. For more information, please see the WADA FAQs on the Prohibited List https://www.wada-ama.org/en/questions-answers/prohibited-list. Donating whole blood is not prohibited.

 

Is PRP or stem cell treatment prohibited?

Even though Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) contains some growth factors from your blood, WADA has clarified that PRP is not prohibited. Individual growth factors are still prohibited when given separately or if they are added to any PRP treatment as purified substances as described on the Prohibited List Section S2.5.

Stem cell injections may or may not be prohibited, depending on how the cellular material is manipulated or modified for use. If the stem cells could or will cause performance enhancement, then the procedure is prohibited under either M1 Manipulation of Blood or Blood Components or M3 Gene Doping. How does an athlete know if stem cells cause performance enhancement? Since stem cell treatments vary widely, ASADA needs detailed information to make this determination. If you are considering receiving stem cells as a part of any procedure, then please contact ASADA on substance.enquiries@asada.gov.au and provide detailed information about the procedure and origin of the stem cells.