Q1 What is Doping?

  Doping means that an athlete uses performance-enhancing drugs and/or methods, which is forbidden by the Anti-Doping Code.

  In the Code, Doping is defined as the use of the prohibited substances and/or methods that are listed in the Prohibited List. If a prohibited substance is found in a doping test, sanctions may be imposed, even if the substance is used for medical treatment. It is thus essential for atheletes to fully understand the Anti-Doping Code.  (See Q12 below)

Q2 Why is Doping prohibited?

Doping is prohibited because; (1) it affects the health of an athlete, (2) it goes against the sportsmanlike conduct, and (3) it is an antisocial act.  Such deceitful and dangerous acts as Doping interfere with the healthy development of sports.

Q3 What are the prohibited substances and methods?

  There are four categories of substances and methods in the Prohibited List of WADA: (1) Substances and Methods Prohibited at All Times (In- and Out-of-Competition), (2) Substances and Methods Prohibited In-Competition not specified in (1), (3) Substances Prohibited in Particular Sports and (4) Specific Substances. In addition, there is also (5) Monitoring Program that includes non-prohibited substances in order to monitor the abuse of those substances. Please refer to the Prohibited List for the details.

Q4 How is a doping test conducted?

  At a doping test, urine and blood samples are obtained and analyzed at a WADA-accredited laboratory.  There are two kinds of tests, In-Competition and Out-of-Competition. Both tests are conducted for the doping test of the Japanese National Athletic Meet and are performed immediately before the competition and during the competition.

At the In-Competition test, all prohibited substances are tested, while at the Out-of-Competition test only anabolic agents, hormones & related substances, beta-2 agonists, agents with anti-estogenic activity, diuretics and other masking agents are tested

Q5 What is the Out-of-Competition test? 

The international standard defines the Out-of-Competition test as a doping test carried out during a training period without advance notice. It is conducted to prevent unsportsmanlike acts during training and to guarantee the integrity of the athlete. The procedure of this test is basically the same as that of the In-Competition test. Advance notice may be given for the Japanese National Athletic Meet doping test.

Q6 What should I do if a prohibited substance must be used for medical treatment?

  If you submit a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) application form and it is accepted, you will receive a certificate of approval for its therapeutic use and may use the prohibited substance. However, such substances are confined to those essential for medical treatment, and they can be used only when there is no other remedy and when the substance does not enhance the performance of the athlete.

  Regarding inhalation for asthma (beta-2 agonists) and topical application of corticosteroids, an abbreviated process for TUE is applied.  (For topical use on skin, eye, ear, nose and oral cavity, form submission is not required as it is not prohibited). In the case of the abbreviated process, if the application form is completed, a certificate will be issued and you may use the drug immediately. The application form is normally submitted to the anti-doping organization of each country through the organization that the athlete belongs to.

Q7 How is an In-Competition test conducted?

(1)   Notification: A Doping Control Officer (DCO) shall notify the athlete in question for a doping test after the competition.

(2)   Reporting to the Doping Test Station: The athlete should report to the doping test station at the designated time. If the athlete refuses the doping test, he/she is regarded as positive for doping. One attendant is allowed to enter the Doping Control Station with the athlete.

(3)   Provision of Sample: The athlete receives a collection vessel, enters the washroom with a DCO of the same gender and provides a urine sample.

(4)   Dispensing the Sample and Sealing: The athlete receives a sample collection kit, dispenses the sample into bottles labeled A and B and then seals both bottles.

(5)   Completion of Doping Control Form: The athlete writes information about any medications or supplements he/she has taken in the past 3 days on the form.

(6)   Signing: The athlete confirms that all of the contents of the Doping Control Form and the procedure were appropriate. Then he/she signs the consent form and receives the copy of the form for their personal records.

Q8 What about caffeine in tea or coffee?

  Since 2004, caffeine has been deleted from the Prohibited List and is now included in the Monitoring Program. Therefore, an athlete does not have to pay special attention to tea or coffee. However, as caffeine is monitored under the Monitoring Program, it may be prohibited again so continuous attention is required.

Q9 Do any of the commercially available drugs contain prohibited substances?

  Most cold remedies contain prohibited substance(s) such as ephedrine.  Some Chinese herbal medicines contain ephedora herb that contains ephedrine.  Some of the digestive medications contain strychnine (nux vomica), which should be taken note of.

  In some anti-impotence drugs, such prohibited substance as methylteststerone (anabolic agents) is contained. In addition, the prohibited substances DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and androstenedione are available overseas as nutritious supplements. It should also be noted that many of the medications used to treat nasal congestion or hemorrhoids contain adrenal corticosteroids. (see Q6.)

  Some inhaled drugs for nasal congestion sold in foreign countries contain desoxyephedrine (peps), which is not only included in the Prohibited List but also illegal in Japan.

  When you take over-the-counter medications or nutritional supplements, you should check the constituents and consult a doctor who is familiar with doping matters.

Q10 What would happen if the result of the doping test turns out to be positive?

  If a prohibited substance is detected in Sample A and the athlete admits the use of that substance, the result is confirmed as positive, and sanctions will be imposed.

  If the athlete requests further inspection, Sample B will be analyzed.  If the results of both A and B are positive, the result is confirmed as positive and sanctions will be imposed. In that case, however, the athlete is given an opportunity to explain before the sanction is determined.

  The sanction includes erasure of the records of the competition and/or ineligibility for the competition. In cases where other people are involved, such as technical support staff, they could also be placed under sanctions.

Q11 What should I do if I catch a cold?

  There are certain non-prohibited drugs that can be used depending on the symptoms. You should see a doctor to get an appropriate prescription.

  If there are 3 days or more before the competition, you can use cold remedies. You do not need to worry too much about the use of medications, as long as you make appropriate decision.

Q12 Can I use a drug prescribed by my personal doctor for medical treatment?

  There are certain therapeutic drugs that are included in the Prohibited List. For example; (1) internal or inhaled medications for asthma, (2) Probenecid (uricosuric drug) for gout and (3) beta blockers and diuretics for hypertension.

  You should obtain a detailed description on the prescribed drugs from your doctor and keep a record of the drug names. If your doctor is not familiar with doping matters, it is recommended that you consult a doctor who is familiar with doping.

  Most treatment can be performed with non-prohibited drugs. However, when necessary, an athlete is allowed to use the prohibited substance, as long as he/she submits a set application form in accordance with the procedure of the Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) and his/her application is approved.

Q13 Where should I go if I have further questions?

  Doping control may be performed differently depending on the sport. You should contact the medical committee of the sports association to which you belong.