Medication - Therapeutic Usage Exemptions


Athletes, like all other people, may have an illness or a condition which needs treatment or requires them to take a medication. If the required medication falls under the Prohibited List, then a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) is a must. A TUE is an authorization for the athlete to take the needed medicine, for therapeutic purposes only. UAE NADA provides a series of Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Checklists to guide and support athletes and their physicians during the TUE application process. TUE approval certainly protects athletes from receiving a sanction if a prohibited substance is found in their sample when they are tested. These Checklists are based on the TUE Physician Guidelines which were developed by WADA and external medical specialists primarily for TUECs. The Checklists –cover the most commonly seen conditions and list the requirements for completing the TUE Application Form, including the medical evidence that must be submitted along with it. You can find all the Checklist documents in the TUE Checklist Collection.



Under the International Standard-Therapeutic Use Exemptions (January 2019) an athlete can be given a TUE if they are able to show that each of the following conditions is met:

- The athlete would suffer from a significant impairment to their health if the prohibited substance were not taken.

- The therapy is unlikely to produce any additional enhancement of performance beyond what might be expected when the athlete recovers after the treatment.

- There is no other permitted medical alternative.

- Necessity of use must not result from prior use of a prohibited substance or method without a valid exemption.



TUEs are sumbitted to UAE NADA which will refer to TUE medical committee, considering all criteria and ensuring there is no unfair advantage given to the athlete by taking the substance or using the method. The committee provides approval for the TUE.

(TUE procees from phase II)



When an athlete applies for a TUE, their doctor plays a major role in supplying the medical information necessary for the approval of a TUE. UAE NADA Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC) depends  on the information supplied by the athlete's doctor to make the decision if the athlete's file meets the medical criteria set by the World Anti-Doping Agency. If an athlete's application has been returned to them because it is incomplete, they will receive instructions by the TUEC on what additional information is needed to make it a complete application.


Retroactive TUE

According to the WADA Code certain athletes are allowed to apply for a retroactive TUE (rather than applying in-advance). If you are informed that your sample has returned an adverse analytical finding (positive test), you should apply to UAE NADA for a retroactive TUE. WADA and UAE NADA agree that fairness requires the granting of a retroactive TUE.

For any athlete, retroactive applications may be considered if:

1. Emergency treatment or treatment of an acute medical condition was necessary.

2. Due to other exceptional circumstances, there was insufficient time or opportunity for the athlete to submit to UAE NADA an application for the TUE prior to sample collection.

If you are eligible for a planned retroactive TUE, you should take the following steps: 

1. Have a medical file prepared with the information needed.

2. Show the relevant information to your doctor.

3. Make sure that your supporting documentation is sufficient.

You should declare any medication you are taking on your doping control form.


Do you need a TUE?

The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process is a means by which an athlete can obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.