Skip to Main Content


“One day I'm a normal person with a normal life,” he said. “The next I'm standing on a street corner in Madrid with a secret phone and a hole in my arm and I'm bleeding all over, hoping I don't get arrested. It was completely crazy. But it seemed like the only way at the time.”

Tyler Hamilton, The Secret Race, 2012

The use of performance-enhancing drugs is probably the major problem facing sport today. Despite intense efforts by sporting bodies and the medical profession to eliminate the problem, drug taking to assist sports performance remains widespread (Table 34.1).

Table 34.1WADA testing—Olympic sports, 2016

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is responsible for producing and maintaining the World Anti-Doping Code, containing the Prohibited List of Substances, which lists those substances and methods that are banned either at all times or in competition only. Doping is defined as the occurrence of one or more of the anti-doping rule violations set forth in Article 2.1 through Article 2.10 of the Code. Substances will be added to the list if they satisfy any two of the following three criteria:

  1. they have the potential to enhance performance

  2. they have the potential to be detrimental to health

  3. they violate the spirit of sport.

The list is reviewed annually and an updated list commences on 1 January each year. The list that took effect on 1 January 2018 contains five classes of substances that are prohibited both in and out of competition, another four classes of substances prohibited in competition only, three methods prohibited in and out of competition and another group of substances prohibited in particular sports (for edited extracts of the Prohibited List, see boxes in this chapter).

In addition, WADA monitors certain other substances (in 2018, stimulants and narcotics) to detect patterns of misuse; this may lead to these substances being added to the Prohibited List in the future.

World Anti-Doping Code The Prohibited List (as at 1 January 2018)2

Substances and methods prohibited ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.