Therapeutic Use Exemption

Athletes may at times need to use a prohibited medication and/or method to treat a legitimate medical condition.

A Therapeutic Use Exemption is an exemption that allows an athlete to use, for therapeutic purposes only, an otherwise prohibited substance or method (of administering a substance). 

Therapeutic Use Exemptions are administered by the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee (ASDMAC). 

Therapeutic Use Exemption approval may protect athletes from receiving a sanction if a prohibited substance is found in their sample. 

If an athlete’s doctor has a question regarding the status of a substance, they should check the substance on the GlobalDRO website, or call 13 000 27232, while the athlete is in their office. 

An exemption is only granted provided that there is no unfair advantage given to the athlete by taking the substance or using the method.

On this page

    About ASDMAC

    ASDMAC provides approval for the therapeutic use of prohibited substances or methods to certain athletes if: 

    • their sport's anti-doping policy allows for, or permits, the athlete to seek approval to use a medication prohibited in sport for a legitimate therapeutic purpose, and
    • the Therapeutic Use Exemption application contains medical evidence that meets each of the WADA criteria for granting a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

    Under the WADC–International Standard-Therapeutic Use Exemptions (January 2019) an athlete may be granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption if they can show that each of the following conditions is met:

    • The prohibited substance or method is needed to treat a medical condition and the athlete would experience a significant impairment to health if the substance were to be withheld. 
    • The Therapeutic Use of the substance or method is highly unlikely to produce any additional enhancement of performance beyond what might be anticipated by a return to the athlete’s normal state of health following the treatment of the medical condition. 
    • There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative. 

    The necessity for the use of the prohibited substance or method is not a consequence of the prior use of a prohibited substance or method prohibited at the time of such use.

    Do you need a Therapeutic Use Exemption?   

    1. Check the substance on the GlobalDRO website to see if it is prohibited. 
    2. If it is prohibited and you need to use the substance, you now need to work out if you need an in-advance or retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption. 

    NOTE: not all medications are eligible for a Therapeutic Use Exemption and having a Therapeutic Use Exemption will only guard against a possible anti-doping rule violation  if the medication is used as per the Therapeutic Use Exemption.

    Are eligible for an in-advance Therapeutic Use Exemption?  

    Only certain, higher level athletes need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption in-advance. In-advance Therapeutic Use Exemptions need to be applied for before taking the medication (except for emergency situations and hospital visits). Other athletes are able to apply for a planned retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption once they have been tested.

    Check the list of sports and criteria for athletes needing an in-advance Therapeutic Use Exemption.

    If your sport is listed and you meet one or more of the criteria, you will need an in-advance Therapeutic Use Exemption.

    If you have been notified by Sport Integrity Australia of your inclusion on the Sport Integrity Australia& Registered Testing Pool/Domestic Testing Pool you are required to apply for an in-advance Therapeutic Use Exemption irrespective if your sport is listed or not. 

    If your sport is not listed, or you do not meet any of the criteria, you should prepare information for a planned retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption.

    Note: On 1 January each year the details of sports and criteria requiring an in-advance Therapeutic Use Exemption is updated. Please ensure that you check your circumstances on or after 1 January.

    Apply for an in-advance Therapeutic Use Exemption

    If your sport is listed and you meet one or more of the criteria you will need to apply for an in-advance Therapeutic Use Exemption. You can apply using the form found at the bottom of this page. 

    Send the completed form to:   

    Check the medical evidence to common Therapeutic Use Exemption applications to see what specific medical information you need to provide. If you need assistance with the Therapeutic Use Exemption application contact asdmac@sportintegrity.gov.au   

    Retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption

    If your sport is not listed, or you do not meet any of the criteria you should prepare information for a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption.

    Therapeutic Use Exemption application form

    Therapeutic Use Exemption application form