Scottish Rugby is committed to the fight against doping in sport. It is completely against the integrity of rugby and is counter to Scottish Rugby's core principles of Leadership, Engagement, Achievement, Enjoyment and Respect.
Prohibited List 2023 (October 2022)
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recently released the 2023 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (the List). Broken down into several categories, the List identifies which substances and methods are prohibited at all times, in-competition only, and within specific sports.
Following an extensive consultation period by WADA, the 2023 Prohibited List was published on 29 September 2022. This gives athletes and their support personnel sufficient time to make themselves aware of the changes, review any medications they use, and apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) if required before the updated List comes into effect on 1 January 2023.
Annual Anti-Doping Report 20221/22 (September 2022)
Scottish Rugby’s annual Anti-Doping Report in respect of season 2021/22 was published in September. A copy of the Report can be found on the webpage below.
Scottish Rugby recognises the importance of testing, both in-competition or out of competition. Testing protects the integrity of the game and acts as a deterrent against the temptation to dope.
Scottish Rugby also recognises the importance of education in establishing an environment which influences doping free behaviour amongst players / minimises the risk of inadvertent doping. The following educational resources are provided to assist players, player support personnel and clubs and to help them make informed choices in compliance with the anti-doping regulations:
World Anti-Doping Code
UK Anti-Doping Rules
World Rugby Regulation 21 (Anti-Doping)
Prohibited Substances and Methods 2023
World Rugby – Keep It Clean
Scottish Rugby’s Anti-Doping Regulation
All those within Scottish Rugby’s jurisdiction must comply with Scottish Rugby’s Anti-Doping Regulation (SDR 21.1 : Anti- Doping):
WADA Prohibited List 2023
Each the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) updates its List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. The 2023 “List” can be found here: WADA Prohibited List 2023. The 2023 List came into force with effect from 1 January 2023.
UKAD has summarised the changes to the WADA Prohibited List for 2023. This Summary can be found here.
All players, coaches and athlete support personnel are advised make themselves familiar with the changes to the list for 2023.
Formal retirement from playing from the Game
Players who wish to be considered as ‘retired’ from playing for anti-doping purposes must follow Scottish Rugby’s Protocol for Players wishing to be regarded as Retired for Anti-Doping Purposes:
Annual Anti-Doping Report
Each year Scottish Rugby produces a Report highlighting the key features of our activities aimed at keeping rugby in Scotland doping free.
The Report in particular highlights the testing programme undertaken within Scottish Rugby. Testing can – and does – take place at all levels of the game. Scottish Rugby is committed to publicising the results of our testing programme and the Report contains details of those currently under suspension for doping offences.
Resources and Support
Advice on Medications
Remember to check all medications using Global DRO at www.globaldro.com where you can search by ingredients or brand name.
Therapeutic Use Exemptions
The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process is a means by which a player can obtain approval to use a prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.
Players should advise all medical personnel (GPs, Team Doctors) of their obligation to abide by the anti-doping rules and that any medical treatment received must not violate these rules.
When prescribed a substance or method, players should find out whether the medication is prohibited by checking the Global DRO site. If the medication is not prohibited, players can start using the prescribed medication or treatment.
A TUE is required for players at the following levels of competition:
1. Players in UK Anti-Doping’s National Registered Testing Pool
2. Scotland Men’s Squads (Senior XV, Scotland A, Sevens, U20s)
3. Scotland Women & Scotland Women 7s
4. Pro14 League teams
5. Scottish Super 6 squads.
International Players, prior to participating in any International Match or International Tournament organised by World Rugby, must obtain a TUE from World Rugby’s TUE Committee in advance of the administration of the Prohibited Substance.
TUEs for all of other levels listed above should be submitted to UK Anti-Doping. Only in emergency situations (e.g. allergic reaction, exacerbation of asthma, onset of bell’s palsy) should treatment begin without TUE approval.
Players who do not play at one of the above levels (and hence not required to apply for a TUE prior to competing) may make a retroactive TUE application to UK Anti-Doping. A player requiring a retroactive TUE has five days following receipt of an adverse analytical finding (AAF) to submit their retroactive application. Typically, a player will receive a letter from UKAD informing them of the requirements to apply for a retroactive TUE for the prohibited substance detected in their sample. Scottish Rugby or UKAD may also contact the player to make them aware that this correspondence is on its way, in relevant circumstances.
We encourage any player who has been tested, without a TUE but who may require one, to contact UKAD to discuss the process and to better understand their rights and responsibilities.
Finally, we recommend that even where a player believes that they will be eligible for a retrospective TUE, they should check with the prescribing physician that the criteria and medical evidence needed by the TUE Committee can be met before the player uses any prohibited substance or method.
Details on the Therapeutic Use Exemption process can be found via the below link.
Prohibited Substances and Methods
Each year the World Anti-Doping Agency produces a list of substances which athletes are not allowed to take together with a list of “prohibited methods” (such as blood doping). This document is known as the WADA Prohibited List.
Please note that:
- Some substances are prohibited at any time and some are only prohibited “in-competition” i.e. on match day or within 24 hours of a match; and
- Under the principle of Strict Liability, players are solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their system whether there was an intention to cheat or not.
A copy of the current Prohibited List, which came into effect on 1 January 2023, can be found below.
Before Taking Any Medication
Before taking any medication players are advised to check its ingredients on the Global Drug Reference Online website (Global DRO), which will confirm whether the substance is permitted or not. Please note that this website will not confirm the safety of dietary supplements.
Advice on Supplements
Players are strongly advised to be very cautious if they choose to take any supplement such as vitamin tablets, energy drinks, or sport-nutrition formulas. This is because there is no guarantee that any supplement is free from banned substances.
Before deciding to use supplements Players are advised to:
- read Scottish Rugby’s Position Statement on the Use of Supplements;
- assess the potential consequences to their careers (they could receive a four-year ban) and / or their reputation;
- assess the need to use supplements by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist on their need to use supplement products; and
- assess the risks associated with supplements and undertake thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking.
Supplement risks can be reduced by:
- undertaking thorough internet research
- only using batch-tested products
- checking on Informed-Sport Informed Sport (which is a risk minimisation programme) that the supplement has been only using batch-tested
- Illicit Drug Factsheets
Useful Links and Resources
It is strongly recommended that all players and athlete support personnel (coaches, conditioners, physios, etc) read the Guidance Documents from Scottish Rugby. Clubs are requested to attach a hard copy of both documents to their Club Noticeboard.
Players and athlete support personnel may also wish to download the 100% me Elite Athlete Clean Sport & World Anti-Doping Agency Apps for Smartphones.
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or have a specific query, please email Scottish Rugby at [email protected]. All enquiries will be treated as confidential.