Drug abuse in sport

Last updated: Thursday, 29, July, 2010
Key InformationAppropriate Tests

Official testing is done by laboratories accredited by the International Olympic Committee.

Specimens of urine must be collected under observation, stored and transported using an approved protocol guaranteeing the integrity of the specimen.

Some groups of drugs may be proscribed for certain sports only (eg, beta blockers in shooters). Caffeine (above 12 mg/L) is proscribed.

Other drugs with thresholds include morphine (1 mg/L) and ephedrine (5 mg/L).

These are examples only, and medical officers must check with the sports organisation involved to determine actual details of their policy.

In general, ignorance is not accepted as an excuse for breaking the rules.

For some drugs, methods for detection and allowable limits have not yet been defined.

Further information may be available from national bodies.