Home > Drugs and doping in sport - guidelines for general practitioners.

O'Colmain, Aidan (2010) Drugs and doping in sport - guidelines for general practitioners. Dublin: Irish College of General Practitioners and Irish Sports Council.

PDF (Drugs and doping in sport) - Published Version

Produced by Dr Aidan O Colmain with the support of the Irish Sports Council and the ICGP.

Since the 2005 edition of these Guidelines, there have been many changes in the world of doping and drugs in sport. The new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code was introduced in 2009 which forms the basis for all the new rules and regulations. Drugs have been added and deleted from the prohibited list. There have been changes in the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) procedures whereby an athlete can get an exemption within his sport to use a prohibited substance.

The Irish Sports Council have changed the way TUE's are applied for in 2010, most now being applied for retrospectively, i.e. after an athlete has tested positive for a substance. This eases the pressure on team doctors. All medications used in the past 14 days have to be declared on the Declaration of use form, completed at the time of a drugs test. The paperwork is not complicated but needs to be thorough. For athletes involved at international level, the procedures of their International Federation in applying for a TUE need to be followed.

GPs involved with individual athletes and team players need to be aware themselves of the issues involved and educate others accordingly. The status of commonly used drugs like inhaled beta agonists, inhaled corticosteroids, insulin, pseudoephedrine, beta-blockers and others needs to be known. Doctors who are unfamiliar with the topic or deal infrequently with it, can avail of expertise at many levels. A list of quick references is given at the end of these Guidelines.

In this constantly changing field, doctors involved with athletes competing at a high level in all sports will benefit from a regular reminder of the procedures and regulations involved.

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