October 1, 2020

Athletes Using Steroids and Amphetamines for Legitimate Medical Conditions

I’ve written a lot about the loophole of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) that allows athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids, growth hormone, amphetamines, etc. for a competitive advantage. I used the 2006 Tour de France as a prime example, where 60% of drug-tested riders had a TUE for some banned substance. The congressional hearings on the Mitchell Report included testimony that over 8% of Major League Baseball players had TUEs for ADD/ADHD drugs such as Adderall or Ritalin.

Gary Gaffney, M.D., from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, offers a defense of TUEs in his blog: [Read more…]

Therapeutic Use Exemptions for Performance Enhancing Drugs

I’ve previously discussed known loopholes for testosterone use in drug testing programs. And of course, the fact that growth hormone use is undetectable via drug testing urinalysis makes it an easy and attractive drug for the athlete seeking performance enhancement.

Just as problematic is the loophole of “therapeutic use exemptions” (TUE) for performance-enhancing drugs on the banned substance list. In many cases, an athlete can use performance enhancing drugs (even steroids) with impugnity if they are granted a TUE for a medically documented condition.

The therapeutic use loophole is not widely publicized by WADA and other drug testing organizations because it does not contribute to the appearance of an effective drug testing program and a “clean sport.” [Read more…]