Therapeutic Use Exemption


When an athlete has to use prohibited substance / method to treat a documented medical condition, he/she must apply for Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). The paragraphs below describe the related rules and regulations and the respective procedure in the application process.

Criteria for granting a TUE
A TUE will be granted only if the following criteria are met:-

1.The athlete would experience significant impairment to health without  using the prohibited substance or method,
2.The therapeutic use of the prohibited substance or method would  produce no additional enhancement of performance, and
3.There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the  otherwise prohibited substance or prohibited method.

When should I apply for a TUE?
Athletes are required to obtain a valid TUE before the start of using of any prohibited substance or method.

The application should be made as soon as an athlete is prescribed a prohibited substance / method for a medical condition and at a minimum of 30 days in advance (sometimes 60 days in advance) before he/she needs the approval (for instance before entering a competition).

Warning: For substances which are prohibited only in-competition, the athlete must ensure sufficient time for clearance from the body before the competition. Urine excretion rates for various substances vary between individuals and it will be difficult to provide a guideline on the number of days that the athlete should stop using the substance. Furthermore, discontinuance of a medication can also have adverse health consequences and should never be undertaken without consultation with the physician and a full appreciation of the risks involved. The only completely safe method for an athlete to use a prohibited substance without risking an anti-doping rule violation is to obtain a TUE prior to using a prohibited substance or method.

What is expected in the application?
The application should include a completed TUE application form together with all relevant documents (e.g. comprehensive medical history, results of all relevant examinations, laboratory investigations and imaging studies).

A qualified physician should be completing the application and attesting to the necessity of the otherwise prohibited substance or method in the treatment of the athletes. In most cases, only the physician who prescribed the prohibited substances or method should complete the application form on behalf of the athlete. The appropriate TUE application form can be obtained from the International Federation (IF) or the HKADC. The HKADC TUE application form can be downloaded here.

Where should I submit the TUE application?

It all depends on your status. However, all Hong Kong athletes being granted TUE from their IF or an event organizer should inform HKADC about the exemption.