FAQs

GlobalDRO says my medication is “Not Prohibited”.  I can go ahead and take it, right?

Correct, but be sure to take note of any conditions and the route of administration as some medications are prohibited in some instances, but prohibited in other instances. Also, always double check that the ingredients listed on your GlobalDRO search results match the ingredients listed on the label of your medication.  Notify USADA immediately if there is a discrepancy.

 

What does “In-competition” and “Out-of-competition” mean?

In-Competition” usually means twelve hours before the start of a competition through the end of the competition (e.g. award ceremony and conclusion) including the sample collection process (drug testing process) related to the competition.   Keep in mind that each Event Organizer can define in-competition differently.  To be certain, you need to check with the organizer of the event in which you are competing.  Depending on their definition, 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 (e.g. 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.  USADA does not provide medical advice.  Your decision to take a substance (prohibited or not) is between you and your physician.  If you need to use a prohibited substance in sport for health reasons you should apply for a TUE.  Please visit http://www.usada.org/substances/tue/ for information about how to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

 

Why can’t I find my medication on GlobalDRO?

That particular Brand name may not be in the database.  Try searching for the active ingredients found on the Drug Facts panel.  If you can’t find the ingredients or you are not sure about the results or CLICK on the Ask a Question link on the Global DRO search results page or email AthleteExpress@USADA.org.

 

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 USADA can confirm the advice you were given when you searched GlobalDRO.  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 so many countries to choose from on the Global DRO home page?

When you visit GlobalDRO you will have to identify your sport nationality (if you are a US athlete, then you will arrive on the USADA GlobalDRO 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.

 

Why can’t I find my dietary supplement in Global DRO?

Global DRO does not contain information on, or that applies to, any dietary supplement or similar over the counter products such as homeopathic products, traditional medicines, herbals, and probiotics. A dietary supplement could contain prohibited substances even if your search results say the ingredients on the label are not prohibited. The use of any dietary supplement is at your own risk. It would be wrong to conclude that because the ingredients comes up as “not prohibited” on GlobalDRO that a supplement is safe.  We have seen many examples of dietary supplements that contain undeclared ingredients (ingredients not listed on the label).    Please visit www.supplement411.org for more information about the risks of dietary supplements.

 

Are homeopathic medications on GlobalDRO?

No, homeopathic medications are not on GlobalDRO. There is no way to validate the contents of a homeopathic medications.  The FDA sometimes issues warnings relating to homeopathic medications.  For the latest information or warnings about homeopathic medications please visit FDA.gov and search for “homeopathic drugs”.

 

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 flavors creating a long list of potential matches on GlobalDRO.  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 Drug Facts panel.  Check your GlobalDRO 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 AthleteExpress@usada.org, or click on the Ask a Question link on GlobalDRO to get more information about your medication.  

 

Why can't I find the brand name of my cough, cold or flu medicine on GlobalDRO?

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 GlobalDRO.  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 Drug Facts panel and search GlobalDRO for each active ingredient. For a quick, handy reference on common ingredients in cold and flu products, read or print out the USADA Wallet card http://www.usada.org/wp-content/uploads/wallet_card.pdf.  Be careful with non-drowsy formulas which may contain the prohibited stimulants levemetamfetamine or pseudoephedrine, or the “conditional” substance albuterol.  If you are still not sure about your cold and flu product please contact AthleteExpress@usada.org, or use the feedback button on GlobalDRO.

 

Are intravenous infusions (IVs) prohibited?

Yes, intravenous infusions (more than 50mLs in 6 hours) are prohibited at all times, even if the substance being infused is permitted.  Please read USADAs article IV Infusions: Explanatory Note and the WADA Guidelines on IV Infusions.

 

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. Donating whole blood is not prohibited.

 

Is ozone therapy prohibited?

Yes, ozone therapy or any manipulation of blood or blood components is prohibited under M1 of the WADA Prohibited List. This includes the administration or reintroduction of any quantity of autologous, allogenic (homologous) or heterologous blood or red blood cell products of any origin into the circulatory system, artificially enhancing the uptake, transport or delivery of oxygen, or any form of intravascular manipulation of the blood or blood components by physical or chemical means.

 

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, such as levalbuterol (Xopenex®) and arformoterol (Brovana®).

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.

USADA 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.

USADA.org has more information about inhalers and nebulizers.

 

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), including oral, rectal, intravenous (IV), or intramuscular (IM).  If you need to take glucocorticoid oral pills or tablets, or get an IV or intramuscular injection, or use a rectal suppository or cream and you are competing soon, you might need a TUE.  Visit http://www.usada.org/substances/tue/ for more information.

Topical creams or localized 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. 

 

Are iron injections banned?

If you receive an iron IV infusion of more than 50mLs per 6 hour perid, then yes it is prohibited because IV infusions are prohibited.  If you recieve a small volume (less than 50mLs) IV injection than it is not prohibited.

Some injectable iron preparations are designed to be administered by a simple IV push like Injectafer (750mg per 15mL).  This is not prohibited.  However, diluting it in a volume greater than 50mLs is prohibited because an IV infusion of more than 50mL per 6 hour period is prohibited at all times.

Some iron or ferrous salts must be diluted for safety reasons and an incorrectly concentrated IV or a different administration rate may cause a deadly reaction. Talk to your prescriber about permitted alternatives such as a small volume IV push, or oral iron.  If your physician determines that these are not appropriate for you, and that your medical condition requires an IV infusion of iron, then you should submit a Therapeutic Use Exemption application.