Therapeutic Use Exemptions
About Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs)
There is a process that allows you to take a medication containing a banned substance if you need to for medical reasons. It's called a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
You may need to apply for a TUE if you get sick or injured and require medication, or if you have an ongoing medical condition that requires treatment, such as diabetes or asthma.
Getting a TUE may protect athletes from receiving a sanction if a prohibited substance is found in their sample. An exemption is only granted if the athlete will gain no unfair advantage by using the banned substance or method. It’s also important that the athlete’s wellbeing is not put at further risk by using the medication.
Some athletes must apply for their TUE in advance, before they begin using any prohibited medications or methods. Other athletes can apply retroactively.
To confirm when you need to apply, refer to 'When to Apply In Advance' and then use the table below to find out the sports/levels of competition at which a TUE is required in advance by DFSNZ criteria.
In-advance or retroactive?
About the TUE process
- You tell your medical professional that you’re an athlete who could be drug tested and ask them to bear this in mind when prescribing medication.
- Check the status of any prescribed medication or method. Find out how at Medications and methods.
- If the substance or method is prohibited, ask your doctor if there are any alternatives that could be used.
- If there’s no alternative, you may need to apply for a TUE before you use the medication or method. Find out whether you need to apply in advance under 'When to apply in advance'. If it is an emergency, treatment may begin immediately.
- Download an application form. Your application must be completed in full by a medical practitioner, preferably the prescribing doctor, and all relevant supporting documentation attached. (Note that most applications require specialist support.)
- Submit your TUE application to us via email or it send your TUE to your International Federation if appropriate. You can also send it to us by post or fax. Check out contact details.
- Your application will be reviewed by the TUE Committee once it is received in full.
- You and your medical professional will be told whether the application has been accepted or rejected within 21 days. You will be told of any conditions, including the date of expiry and restrictions on the use of the medication.
In Advance TUEs
Some athletes must have a TUE in advance. This includes:
- Athletes in the DFSNZ Registered Testing Pool or National Testing Pool;
- Athletes selected New Zealand Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games team;
- Athletes who have been registered, qualified, selected, named or contracted to compete in specific teams and/or national events listed in the TUEs in advance table.
If you’re competing internationally you should check with your Federation and be clear about your responsibilities around TUE. You may have to apply for a TUE from your International Federation rather than DFSNZ. Find out more about this under ‘International-level athletes’.
Not sure what level athlete you are?
Email us at email@example.com or contact your National Sport Organisation to check.
A retroactive TUE is a one that is granted after a positive test has occurred. Retroactive TUEs are available to athletes competing at levels other than those listed as 'in advance'. It is important to remember that you will still need to meet the criteria and supply comprehensive medical documents before a TUE can be granted.
You may apply retroactively for a TUE to Drug Free Sport New Zealand if:
- You required emergency or urgent treatment of a medical condition.
- There was insufficient time, opportunity or other exceptional circumstances that prevented you from submitting the TUE application, or having it evaluated, before getting tested.
- As per Drug Free Sport New Zealand anti-doping rules, you were not permitted or required to apply in advance for a TUE.
- You are a lower level athlete who is not under the jurisdiction of an International Federation or National Anti-Doping Organization and were tested.
- You tested positive after using a substance Out-of-Competition that was only prohibited In-Competition (for example glucocorticoids).
In rare and exceptional circumstances and notwithstanding any other provision in the ISTUE, you may apply for and be granted retroactive approval for a therapeutic use of a prohibited substance or method, if considering the purpose of the Code, it would be manifestly unfair not to grant a retroactive TUE.
This unique retroactive TUE will only be granted with the prior approval of WADA (and WADA may in its absolute discretion agree with or reject the Drug Free Sport New Zealand’s decision).
Important note: Using a prohibited substance or method without a TUE could result in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation. In case an application for a retroactive TUE is necessary following sample collection, you are strongly advised to have a medical file prepared and ready to submit for evaluation.
If you have a serious accident or you require emergency medical treatment, don’t hesitate. Your health always comes first and you should get whatever medical help you need immediately.
Do advise all medical staff that you’re an athlete who could be drug tested and ask them to check whether all medications are prohibited in sport. And if you do require a prohibited substance or method for the sake of your health, make a TUE application immediately after treatment. This is known as a retroactive TUE.
A TUE granted by DFSNZ is only valid at the national level. If you are, or become, an international-level athlete, or compete at Major Games, that TUE will not be valid unless it is recognised by the relevant International Federation (IF) or Major Event Organization (MEO). It is your responsibility to check if your DFSNZ TUE is automatically recognised by your IF or MEO.
You may also need to apply directly to your IF depending on their definition of an international-level athlete. You can find the definition on the relevant IF’s website.
We can help you find out where to apply and how to present your DFSNZ TUE to an IF or MEO for recognition. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of the four following criteria must be met (for more details, please refer to the WADA International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) Article 4.2):
- The athlete has a clear diagnosed medical condition, which requires treatment using a prohibited substance or method;
- The therapeutic use of the substance will not, on the balance of probabilities, produce significant enhancement of performance beyond the athlete’s normal state of health;
- The prohibited substance or method is an indicated treatment for the medical condition, and there is no reasonable permitted therapeutic alternative;
- The necessity to use that substance or method is not the consequence of the prior use (without a TUE), of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of use.
Your medical practitioner will need to provide information in support of your TUE application. This includes:
- Comprehensive medical evidence to justify the use of the treatment, preferably from a specialist;
- Confirmation that permitted alternative medications have been tried where possible.
The medical evidence you need to supply is dependent on your condition. WADA offer guidance for many common medical conditions. Before you make your application, please read the relevant WADA TUE checklist.
If your medication or condition is not listed, please ask your doctor to review WADA's Medical information to support the decisions of TUECs.
When we receive all the information we require, we generally process applications within five working days. Without all the information required, your application will be delayed. Please check all evidence has been included before you send your TUE application.
If granted, a TUE will only be valid for the specific medication and for a certain time period. Make sure you understand the restrictions that apply.
Each TUE has a specific duration, at the end of which it expires automatically. Should you need to continue to use the prohibited substance or method, it is your responsibility to submit a new application for a TUE with updated medical information ahead of the expiry date, so that there is sufficient time for a decision to be made prior to the expiry of the current TUE.
Important note: The presence (following sample collection), use, possession or administration of the prohibited substance or method shall be consistent with the terms of your TUE which are present on your certificate. Therefore, if you require a materially different dosage, frequency, route or duration of administration, you should contact DFSNZ as you may be required to apply for a new TUE. Some substances and dosages, e.g. insulin, are often modified during treatment and these possible fluctuations should be mentioned by the treating physician in the TUE application and would usually be accepted by the ADO TUEC.
If a TUE application is declined, you will receive a written explanation of the reasons for that decision. If you need help to understand why the decision was made, feel free to contact us. Sometimes, the application may be missing a critical piece of information, diagnostic test, laboratory results, signature etc. If this is the case, we’ll request the information and you will be able to reapply.
If you are a National Level or Recreational Level athlete, you may appeal DFSNZ's decision to the Sports Tribunal of New Zealand. For guidance on this process and the required documentation, please visit the Sports Tribunal website.
If your International Federation does not recognise your DFSNZ TUE, you and DFSNZ have 21 days to refer the matter to WADA for review after notification of the non-recognition. You should send the same information that you submitted to DFSNZ, and on which their TUEC based their decision, via a secure online method or by registered mail to:
WADA Medical Department
World Anti-Doping Agency
Stock Exchange Tower
800 Place Victoria (Suite 1700)
P.O. Box 120
Montreal (Quebec) H4Z 1B7
The email address to enquire and/or send the request for review is email@example.com.
Pending WADA’s decision, DFSNZ’s TUE remains valid for national-level competition and out-of-competition testing only. If the matter is not referred to WADA for review, DFSNZ determines whether the original TUE granted to you should remain valid for national-level competition and out-of-competition testing.
All the information contained in a TUE application including the supporting medical information and any other information related to the evaluation of your TUE request is kept strictly confidential and treated in accordance with the Athlete’s Declaration contained in the Drug Free Sport New Zealand's TUE Application Form. All members of the TUEC and any other authorized recipients of your TUE request and related information (as described in the Athlete’s Declaration) are subject to a professional or contractual confidentiality obligation.
Please review the terms of the Athlete’s Declaration carefully. In particular, note that should you wish to revoke the right of the Drug Free Sport New Zealand's TUEC to obtain the information related to your TUE request in accordance with the Athlete’s Declaration, your TUE application will be deemed withdrawn without approval being granted.
Your TUE request-related information will be retained by Drug Free Sport New Zealand and any other authorized recipients for no longer than necessary for the purposes stated in the Athlete’s Declaration, in accordance with the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information.
TUE in-advance criteria by sport
Sport National International IF Athletics Athletes who enter in the senior category at the National Track and Field Championships Black Singlet competitions World Athletics Basketball Athletes who are selected in the Breakers Squad Athletes who are selected in the National Basketball League (men and women). Tall Blacks Squad (men) Tall Ferns Squad (women) FIBA Canoeing Athletes who enter in the Open Age category at the Canoe Sprint National Championships Athletes selected in the Canoe Racing NZ Open National team (men and women). ICF Cricket Plunket Shield, 50 Over and T20 Competitions (men) Women’s One Day and T20 competitions Black Caps contracted player list White Ferns Squad contracted player list ICC Cycling Athletes who enter in the Elite category at National Championship events (includes road, track, mountain bike and BMX championships) Athletes selected to compete at the elite level at a World Championship event (includes road, track, mountain bike and BMX) UCI Football Athletes selected for the Wellington Phoenix Squad Men’s National League Squad (8 teams who reach Championship phase) Women's National League Squad All Whites Squad (Men) Football Ferns Squad (Women) FIFA Hockey National Hockey Championship – Tier 1 (men and women) Black Sticks Squad (men and women) FIH Netball ANZ Premiership Silver Ferns Squad INF Rowing Premier grade at the New Zealand National Rowing Championships Athletes selected in the NZ Rowing Team (elite) FISA Rugby League NZ Warriors Squad and the Warriors Women Squad (As of 2022 season: Athletes who compete in the Premiership (tier 1) division of the National Rugby League Competition (men and women). Athletes selected in the NZ Kiwis Squad (men) or the Kiwi Ferns squad (women) RLIF Rugby Union Super Rugby Pacific (men) Bunnings Cup squad (men) Super Rugby Aupiki (women) All Blacks and All Blacks 7s Squads (men) -Black Ferns and Black Ferns 7s Squads (women) World Rugby Snow Sports Winter Games 2022 Snow Sports NZ Team/Invested Athletes FIS Swimming Open Age category at the NZ Open Championships Swimming NZ HPSNZ Carded Athletes FINA Triathlon Elite (standard distance) category at the National Triathlon Championships Tri NZ HPSNZ Carded Athletes ITU Weightlifting Athletes who compete in the senior category at the OWNZ Senior and Junior National Championships Athletes competing in an IWF event IWF
TUE in advance
This table shows the levels of sports at which a TUE is required before an athlete takes a medication containing prohibited substances. If your sport and competition/level appears in the table, you need a TUE in advance.
This does not apply to medical emergencies.
|Athletics||Athletes who enter in the senior category at the National Track and Field Championships||Black Singlet competitions||World Athletics|
|Basketball||Athletes who are selected in the Breakers Squad Athletes who are selected in the National Basketball League (men and women).||Tall Blacks Squad (men) Tall Ferns Squad (women)||FIBA|
|Canoeing||Athletes who enter in the Open Age category at the Canoe Sprint National Championships||Athletes selected in the Canoe Racing NZ Open National team (men and women).||ICF|
|Cricket||Plunket Shield, 50 Over and T20 Competitions (men) Women’s One Day and T20 competitions||Black Caps contracted player list White Ferns Squad contracted player list||ICC|
|Cycling||Athletes who enter in the Elite category at National Championship events (includes road, track, mountain bike and BMX championships)||Athletes selected to compete at the elite level at a World Championship event (includes road, track, mountain bike and BMX)||UCI|
|Football||Athletes selected for the Wellington Phoenix Squad Men’s National League Squad (8 teams who reach Championship phase) Women's National League Squad||All Whites Squad (Men) Football Ferns Squad (Women)||FIFA|
|Hockey||National Hockey Championship – Tier 1 (men and women)||Black Sticks Squad (men and women)||FIH|
|Netball||ANZ Premiership||Silver Ferns Squad||INF|
|Rowing||Premier grade at the New Zealand National Rowing Championships||Athletes selected in the NZ Rowing Team (elite)||FISA|
|Rugby League||NZ Warriors Squad and the Warriors Women Squad (As of 2022 season: Athletes who compete in the Premiership (tier 1) division of the National Rugby League Competition (men and women).||Athletes selected in the NZ Kiwis Squad (men) or the Kiwi Ferns squad (women)||RLIF|
|Rugby Union||Super Rugby Pacific (men) Bunnings Cup squad (men) Super Rugby Aupiki (women)||All Blacks and All Blacks 7s Squads (men) -Black Ferns and Black Ferns 7s Squads (women)||World Rugby|
|Snow Sports||Winter Games 2022||Snow Sports NZ Team/Invested Athletes||FIS|
|Swimming||Open Age category at the NZ Open Championships||Swimming NZ HPSNZ Carded Athletes||FINA|
|Triathlon||Elite (standard distance) category at the National Triathlon Championships||Tri NZ High Performance (Carded) Athletes||ITU|
|Weightlifting||Athletes who have qualified at A Grade and above and entered WNZ Junior/Senior National Championships||Athletes competing in an IWF event||IWF|