What constitutes doping?

Hands on ball
© FIFA.com

Doping is when players take prohibited substances or use prohibited methods to improve their performance.

Prohibited List

WADA regularly updates its list of substances and methods that are prohibited because they enhance performance, damage a player’s health or go against the spirit of sport.

Whether it is steroids, cocaine or amphetamines, any substance that is mentioned on WADA’s Prohibited List should be off limits for players and their support staff. The Prohibited List not only identifies such substances but also indicates if they are prohibited in or out of competition.

Supplements

Even “natural” supplements can contain prohibited substances, which – if detected in a doping control – may result in the same sanctions as if they had been taken in any other form.

Therefore, it is important to always check the ingredients of any supplements before taking them. A useful online resource is the Global DRO website. Players should also be encouraged to critically consider every medication or treatment prescribed for them, whether by the team doctor or any other physician. Ultimately, it is the player’s strict responsibility to make sure that their body does not come into contact with any prohibited substance or method.

Prohibited methods

Banned methods, such as blood doping, can have negative effects on a player’s body. Blood transfusions make the blood carry oxygen to the rest of the body more efficiently, but they can also lead to high blood pressure, kidney damage and even heart failure or a stroke.

That is why, before taking medication or supplements or receiving treatment, players should ALWAYS check the Prohibited List and get advice from their national anti-doping organisation, WADA or FIFA. If they have an illness or condition that requires specific medication or treatment, they must apply for a therapeutic use exemption.

If a sample reveals a prohibited substance or method, the player may face serious sanctions, including the end of their career, so there is no margin for error.

Remember: YOU are responsible for knowing which substances and methods are banned according to the latest WADA Prohibited List.