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Anti-doping commission

Athletes and Athlete Support Personnel (ASP) play a crucial role in helping to protect the integrity of sport at every level. Being knowledgeable and up-to-date on the various aspects of anti-doping forms an important part of an athlete’s (and ASP’s) journey throughout his/her ‘clean’ sporting career. The SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport has put together our top 5 anti-doping tips to assit you along this journey!

#1: Know the “Rules” – what is an “anti-doping rule violation”?

  • Gold Prize! A reminder that all Athletes & Athlete Support Personnel need to attend a SAIDS Education session (in-person or virtual) OR complete e-Learning before leaving for Tokyo! Access the ADEL for Tokyo 2020 Olympics e-Learning course via or contact

#2: Did you check if the medication you are using contain banned substances?

Use the SAIDS “Online Medication Check” tool on the SAIDS website to search for medicines available in South Africa:

Use “Global DRO” to check for medications sold in Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland.

NOTE: Neither of these medication check tools contain information on the content or safety of dietary supplements or other unregulated products such as CBD oils, tradinional meds or herbal formulations. The reason? Unlike prescription medicines, these products are not regulated and vetted by health authorities to verify efficacy, safety, or label accuracy. So you simply don’t know exactly what is in it…

#3 Therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs)

If you need to use a medication containing a prohibited substance for a valid medical reason, then you need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (“TUE”) at least 30 days before the start of the “period of the Games” i.e. before 13 July 2021. There are 4 criteria that need to be met to grant a TUE –

NOTE: If you already have a TUE granted by SAIDS then you need to check that the International Testing Authority (ITA), in charge of Doping Control at the Games, recognises your TUE. You can contact SAIDS for assistance.

Need to apply for a new TUE? Contact SAIDS urgently for guidance – TUE administrator: 021 686 1634.

For ‘acute’ TUE applications DURING the Games – Apply at the office in the Olympic Village Polyclinic.

Taking ADHD medication (e.g. Ritalin, Concerta) into Japan is not permitted by Japanese Law, regardless of having a TUE in place. The IOC is working with Japanese authorities on this, but it’s not yet been resolved.

#4 Be aware of the risk of taking dietary supplements and other unregulated products such as herbal preparations and ‘CBD’ products

Due to the lack of legislation and regulation locally (and abroad!), manufacturers of these products get away with making false claims of efficacy and safety. You cannot trust the list of ingredients on the product label.

As a result there are increasing reports of people experiencing ill-health effects and athletes testing positive related to supplement-use.

CBD products are also not regulated and may contain ‘THC’, the active ingredient in Marijuana / Dagga that is a prohibited substance in sport.

The biggest performance (and health) gains are obtained from making clever dietary choices and using real food in practical ways to meet training and competition goals. A registered dietitian is best suited to optimize your ‘food first’ approach and help you do a efficacy / benefit : risk analysis before considering the use of supplements.

NOTE: Products that have been batch-tested by an independent, 3rd party (e.g. InformedSport) can help to reduce the risk of inadvertent doping, but it still does not eliminate the risk completely!

SAIDS, similar to WADA and other anti-doping authorities, do not certify, endorse or approve any supplements or related products – athletes taking it do so at their own risk.

  • Gold Prize! Take a look at the IOC Nutrition for Athletes Booklet, find more info on supplements, video clips on what elite athletes say about supplements and more on the SAIDS website:

#5 Know your rights and responsibilities when getting tested

Useful resources:

  • Guide to the Doping Control Programme at the Tokyo Olympics, available from the International Testing Authority (ITA) website
  • Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act

… and Consequences …

The SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport is wishing you the very best for your competition! 

We hope that you will enjoy your experience and come home inspired and enriched!

“Success is never final; Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

– John Wooden –

Basketball Hall-of-Fame Inductee

Prepared by the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport Education Department – May 2021

Contact us to book an education webinar / workshop or make use of e-Learning