Doping FAQs

Doping FAQs





1)         What is the Doping Control Program?

Sport is about competing and performing to the best of your ability—the pursuit of human and sporting excellence. Taking prohibited substances or using prohibited methods is cheating, and can be very damaging to an athlete’s health. Doping undermines the fundamental spirit of sport and severely damages the integrity, image, and value of sport.


Organizations involved in sport have banded together to ensure that sport remains fair and safe for athletes at all levels of competition.  These organizations include Archery Canada (AC), World Archery (WA) the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the World Anti-doping Association (WADA).  WADA is the governing body and has developed the World Anti-doping program that all other organizations involved in the fight for clean sport have agreed to follow.  WA and AC have developed rules and policies that ensure the WADA program is an integral part of our associations and the CCES is the Canadian organization that monitors, educates and enforces the rules within Canada.


The program includes a list of prohibited substances, monitored substances and methods of doping.  This list is published yearly and is available on the WADA, WA and CCES websites.  This is the list that all organizations follow.  The individuals who will be involved in sample collection from athletes are trained according to a set of standards set by WADA and they also ensure the accreditation and security of the centres responsible for the testing of the samples.  The processes for collection of samples, transport of the collected samples and the confidentiality of all information is standard around the world.


The goal of the International Anti-doping program is to provide athletes in all sports, and at all levels of competition a fair playing field on which to compete and strives to make sure all athletes are safe when competing.


2)         What is the CCES?

The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport is the CCES and in collaboration with sport organizations, athletes, and coaches, medical support personnel works on behalf of all Canadians to achieve doping-free sport and to protect the right of athletes to compete in a fair and ethical sport environment.


As the body responsible for administering Canada's Anti-Doping Program (CADP), CCES devotes a significant portion of its resources to promoting doping-free sport. The CADP protects athletes' right to fair and ethical competition, and helps ensure the integrity of amateur sport.

CCES’ mandate is fulfilled through a comprehensive approach involving education, prevention, detection, deterrence, investigations, and support of related research. Testing programs and investigations are a necessary part of this approach: deterring and detecting the use of banned substances and methods.


All athletes and coaches have access to the CCES website and a wealth of information and educational materials to assist you in understanding and following the WADA rules for clean sport.  It is the responsibility of all athletes and coaches participating in National or International events to be aware of the rules, testing procedures and the steps that one needs to take before events.  This will ensure that you, as an athlete, will not run into any adverse situations if selected for testing at an event.  You can access this site at:


The CCES has a lot of e-learning modules to help athletes and coaches navigate the system successfully.  These can be found at: E-Learning: Accessible anytime, anywhere, this convenient online course provides the most current anti-doping information and references. This resource is available simply by requesting an access code from


3)         How or when might it affect me?

As an athlete competing at National or International events or Games, you are subject to the rules of the program and may be selected for testing at any of these competitions.  You must be aware of the rules of the sport and the rules surrounding the anti-doping programs in both AC and WA as your sport governing bodies.  Even if you have no expectation of winning or being selected for International or National Teams, you need to be aware of the program, that there are prohibited substances and that there are processes which must be followed if you have been selected for testing.


You are also a role model for up-and-coming athletes and as such you have a responsibility to your sport to follow all of the rules of your sport.


4)         What drugs or supplements are prohibited?

The list of drugs is too long to include in this document but you can access the complete list of prohibited substances and methods at the following link:


The CCES also has access to the Global Drug Reference On-line document.  This is a tool that allows you to search drugs/medications using their common or brand name specifically.  It will clearly tell you if that medication is allowed or not.  This is an extremely useful document and should be on you “favourites” list for quick access.


The drugs and substances included on this list are not just pharmaceuticals but also include things like alcohol and marijuana.


Marijuana is banned for all sports and athletes must be aware that even casual use or being at a party with a lot of users may cause you to test positively for the substance in your urine.  You may test positive if you are around people using Marijuana even if you have not used it yourself.  It stays in your urine for an extended period of time (up to 3 months) so be very aware of the risks.  If you intend to be a serious, competitive athlete YOU MUST AVOID CONTACT WITH THIS DRUG at all times.


Alcohol is a substance that is tested for in Archery specifically.  It has been determined by FITA that it may give some athletes an advantage when competing and that it may place athletes at risk for injury during competitions.  If selected for testing at an Archery event, you will be asked to blow into a breathalyser and Archery has a Zero tolerance for the use of alcohol within the competition time frames.  You cannot have an alcoholic beverage such as wine or a beer during the shooting day. A drink at the end of the day and after all testing has been completed for the day is permissible.  Again, please be aware of the rules so that you cannot get caught in an infraction.


Some cough/cold medications contain a substance known as Pseudoephedrine.  This is a banned substance.  You must be aware of what medications are safe to use and which ones may cause you to test positively.  You can check the CCES website for information on safe medications to use if you have a cough/cold during the event.  Use the Global DRO link noted above to search specific medications to ensure you are safe.  Look under the following link to the Advisory section of the website:


There have also been recent changes to the use of some medications used to manage asthma. Some inhalers are now allowed however, some other inhalers are still prohibited.  To ensure you are using the right ones, please check the following link:


The CCES link also includes a document entitled “Substance Classification Booklet"

The CCES publishes a Substance Classification Booklet that is based on the current WADA Prohibited List. This booklet provides an overview of prohibited substances and methods, including their Canadian brand names. It also identifies non-prohibited alternatives to prohibited substances in the event that an athlete needs to take a medication.


You must also be aware of WA’s anti-doping rules and can access these on the WA website under “clean sport”.


You can also contact me at If I do not have the answer immediately I will find the answer for you as soon as possible.


5)         What do I do if I am taking one of these drugs for a medical reason? What is a TUE?

“Athletes, like all others, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications. If the medication an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to fall under the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine.”

- World Anti-Doping Agency


Athletes are not automatically granted authorization, and must submit a TUE application to the appropriate governing body.


Under what circumstances will a TUE application be approved?

A TUE application will only be considered by the CCES under the following circumstances:

•           the athlete would experience a significant impairment to health if the prohibited substance or method were to be withheld in the course of treating an acute or chronic medical condition;

•           the use of the prohibited substance or method would produce no additional enhancement of performance other than that which might be anticipated by a return to a state of normal health following the treatment of a legitimate medical condition; and

•           there are no reasonable therapeutic alternatives or other alternatives are ineffective.


Examples include:

•           Insulin for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus;

•           Beta-2 Agonist inhaler, such as terbutaline, for the treatment of asthma; (not Salmeterol and salbutamol); and

•           Methylphenidate for the treatment of ADD or ADHD.


How long is a TUE valid?

TUEs granted by the CCES are valid for the duration of the treatment as prescribed by the physician, up to a maximum of two years, or four years for inhaled asthma medications. It is the athlete’s responsibility to know when the TUE expires and to apply for renewal before this date if necessary.


Who should apply for a TUE?

All athletes who are subject to doping control must be aware of the TUE rules and requirements that apply to them. These rules and requirements will vary depending on the athlete’s level of competition and will determine when and to which organization an athlete must submit a TUE application.


Please see the attached information on TUE’s and how to apply for them in Archery.


6)         What is the ADAMS system?

Under the World Anti-Doping Code (the document harmonizing anti-doping rules in all sports), WADA has an obligation to coordinate anti-doping activities and to provide a mechanism to assist stakeholders with their implementation of the Code.


The Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) was developed for this purpose. It is a Web-based database management system that simplifies the daily activities of all stakeholders and athletes involved in the anti-doping system—from athletes providing whereabouts information, to anti-doping organizations ordering tests, to laboratories reporting results, to anti-doping organizations managing results. It is easy to use, available in several languages, and free to WADA’s stakeholders, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the fight against doping in sport.


What are ADAMS’ primary functions?

ADAMS has four primary functions addressing key activities of anti-doping operations:


i)          Athlete Whereabouts

The Web-based functionality allows athletes to enter information about their location from anywhere in the world; and those without Web access may designate a representative such as their ADO to enter the information for them.  This function also helps stakeholders share whereabouts information, crucial for maximizing the surprise effect and the efficiency of unannounced out-of-competition testing. Athletes can also modify their whereabouts by sending SMS (text) messages.


ii)         Information Clearinghouse

The clearinghouse is where data is stored, in particular laboratory results, Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) authorizations and anti-doping rule violations. It permits the sharing of information among the relevant organizations and guarantees that anti-doping activities are performed with the highest level of transparency.


iii)        Doping Control Platform

The ADAMS doping control database provided to ADOs is an essential tool for managing a doping control program, both in- and out-of-competition. Stakeholders can use ADAMS to plan, coordinate, and order tests, as well as manage test results. Coordination of doping control programs in the ADAMS system helps to avoid duplication in doping controls.


iv)        TUE Management

ADAMS allows for online management of TUE requests, as well as online notification of those involved in the process.


For access to the system, training sessions on “How to use the system” and more FAQ’s related to the ADAMS system please access:


7)         What happens if I am selected for testing?

The first rule is to not panic.  You have rights that must be protected and the individuals who are notifying you and then testing you will be aware of these rights and do everything to ensure they are respected.  Your best protection is to be very aware of what to expect if you are selected.


There are great training modules on the CCES website.  There is a wonderful video that walks you through the process and a written description of what you will be expected to do during the sampling procedure.  The information also explains what happens to your samples and what will occur if you have a positive test.  PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO REVIEW THIS INFORMATION BEFORE YOU PARTICIPATE IN AN EVENT WHERE TESTING MAY BE COMPLETED.


8)         Where in the Canadian Sport System can I find details on doping control and prohibited substances?


For all of this information please access the CCES website:

If you have more questions please call CCES at 1-800-672-7775.