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Anti-doping: Learn


What is banned in sport? – The Prohibited List

The Prohibited List details all those substances and methods that are prohibited for use in sport. It’s set by WADA and is updated on the 1 January each year.

The list is divided into categories and identifies those substances which are prohibited all of the time (in-competition and out-of-competition), and those which are only prohibited during a competition (in-competition only). For tennis players ‘in-competition’ is usually from 11:59  the day before their first match in an event to 60 minutes after the player’s last match of that event.

  • Examples of substances prohibited at all times would include (but are not limited to): anabolic agents, peptide hormones, and diuretics and masking agents
  • Examples of substances prohibited only in-competition would include (but are not limited to): cannabinoids, glucocorticoids, narcotics and stimulants
  • Also prohibited at all times are methods such as blood transfusion or manipulation, or intravenous infusions in certain situations

Not all substances are specifically named on the list. The list states that any other substances with a similar chemical structure or similar biological effect(s) are also prohibited even if not specifically named.

Strict liability

You are responsible – ‘strictly liable’ – for anything found in your system, regardless of how it got there or whether there was any intention to cheat.

To receive an Anti-Doping Rule Violation for use or presence of a prohibited substance, it’s not necessary to demonstrate intent, fault, negligence or knowing use on your part.

It’s not a defence against receiving an Anti-Doping Rule Violation that, for example, a coach or a member of athlete support personnel in your team gave you a substance; or that a prohibited substance was not listed on a product label; or that a prohibited substance or method would not have improved your performance.


Checking medications

Some medications contain prohibited substances. Before using any medication, whether prescribed by a GP, bought over the counter in a Pharmacy or even straight from a supermarket shelf, it’s vital that players check whether they contain a prohibited substance. 

The advice from UK Anti-Doping is to check every substance or medication before you use it, even if you have used it before. It’s also important to remember that medications bought abroad may contain different ingredients than those in the UK and you should always check before you take them.

To quickly and easily check the status of your medications purchased or prescribed in the UK, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Australia or Japan use GlobalDRO.

If your medication is prohibited and no legitimate alternative is available, you may require a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to be compliant with the anti-doping regulations.

Clean tennis – checking medications

Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)

Players in the LTA TUE pool or in the ITIA Tennis Anti-Doping Programme are required to proactively submit a TUE before they use a prohibited medication for a legitimate medical condition. If this is the case please contact anti-doping@lta.org.uk for further information and advice.

All other players are required to submit a TUE retrospectively (after use) within 10 working days following a drug test.

If you are unsure you can use the UKAD TUE Wizard tool which will take you through a step by step process to help you decide.

Clean tennis – Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)


LTA Position Statement on Nutritional Supplements:

We have a food first approach for players at all levels when advising on how to nutritionally support themselves for health and performance optimisation.

  1. Players of all ages and standards will benefit from good hydration, a balanced tennis-orientated diet, well organised training and a healthy lifestyle. Supplement use is discouraged for u18 players unless deemed necessary by medical or nutritional staff and is to be evaluated on an individual basis.
  2. If considering using a supplement players should consider the effectiveness and quality of the product very carefully. A plethora of supplements exist with outlandish claims supported by weak evidence. Additionally, supplements can be subject to manufacturing contamination or have prohibited substances hidden on an ingredient list by using alternative names.It is therefore crucial that any product used has undergone a quality assurance programme from a certified authority such as Informed Sport. Informed Sport is a risk management programme that tests sports supplements for WADA prohibited substances by analysing raw materials, manufacturing processes and batch testing end products. 
  3. There can however be NO guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances. A strict liability ruling is associated to a positive test, regardless of intent. This means that each player is solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body regardless of how it got there and whether or not there was any intention to cheat. An Anti-Doping violation can result in a ban from sport of up to four years.

Recreational or social drugs / substances of abuse

Substances commonly referred to as ‘recreational’ or ‘social’ drugs are prohibited in sport. In most countries they are illegal. For information about drugs or if you need help and advice related to drug use there are support services available.

Talk to Frank

Testing & whereabouts


UK Anti-Doping and the ITIA conduct drug testing both in-competition (post-match) and out-of-competition (at training sessions or at player’s homes and accommodation). Players can be selected at any time for a drug test on either a random or a targeted basis.

Players are tested for the prohibited substances contained within Anti-Doping Regulations via the collection of urine, blood or dried blood spot (DBS) samples. All tests are conducted by Doping Control Officers and Chaperones, who are accredited to World Anti-Doping Code standards, and samples are analysed at WADA-accredited laboratories.

The Testing Procedure


Individual players who are selected for inclusion in a testing pool are required to submit details of their whereabouts using ADAMS. You will be notified individually of your inclusion in one of these pools by either the ITIA or UKAD.

Anti-doping: Education resources

Check out the latest educational resources available for anti-doping.

Report a concern

Find out how you can report and anti-doping or anti-corruption concern to the relevant authorities.

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