Therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs)

With certain illnesses, athletes can apply to FIFA for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for substances that are on WADA’s prohibited list.

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The WADA Code enables the athlete and doctor to make this application if it is necessary for treatment to be applied using drugs or methods that are on the prohibited list.

The granting of TUEs falls solely within the remit of the FIFA Medical Committee, which delegates the tasks of evaluating and approving the exemptions to the TUE Advisory Group, a committee comprising three doctors who are experienced in treating athletes and who have practical knowledge of clinical, sports and training medicine. These members must not have any conflicts of interest, such as a friendship with the player. The advisory group may seek the expert opinion of any number of medical and scientific experts when assessing TUE applications. As a rule, it makes a decision within 21 days following receipt of the application.

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IMPORTANT: in the event of a positive sample of a so-called non-specified substance, a retrospective application for a TUE must be made immediately.

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The subject of TUEs should be approached with caution. As an athlete, you should also inform your doctor when you are ill that you are subject to WADA’s anti-doping rules and have to be especially careful about taking any form of medication. This will prevent your doctor from unknowingly prescribing substances on the prohibited list.

For more information, see www.wada-ama.org, talk to FIFA in person or contact your association.