What is a Therapeutic Use Exemption – “TUE”?

Athletes, like all people, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications or undergo procedures. If the medication or method an athlete requires to treat an illness or condition happens to fall under the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine or method. TUEs are granted according the International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE), a document outlining the conditions, the stakeholder responsibilities and the TUE process.

Who needs to apply for a TUE?

The athlete’s level i.e. whether he/she is an National Level or International Level Athlete is important in determining when they need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

Click here to read the important information to understand whether you are classified as a National, International Level Athlete or Other Athlete and what steps to follow to apply for a TUE.

*Special NOTE for applications related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – click here

TUE Application Form

The TUE application form (click here to download it) should be submitted to:

  • Ayanda Zwane at rado-tue@saids.org.za or fax to 086 242 7077.
  • Or contact the SAIDS head-office to provide you with the forms on 021 686 1634.

The application of a TUE takes approximately 30 days to be processed.

Please ensure that you submit ALL necessary information required on documents.

Should you be competing overseas, please contact the office before submitting your forms.

How to apply for a TUE?

The process for an athlete is fairly simple. Each athlete must:

  • Contact the relevant International Federations (IFs) or SAIDS (whichever applies) and ask for information about the TUE Application process.
  • Have the physician fill out and sign the TUE Application form and produce the required supporting documentation and forward it to the IF or SAIDS (whichever applies) for approval. Athletes should remember that the TUE Application should be submitted at least 30 days before participating in an event.

Tips on applying for a TUE:

  • Complete the form – either typed or handwritten in block capital letters. If the form is not legible, it is deemed incomplete and will be returned to the athlete.
  • If faxing the form, ensure that you include all the required documentation and keep a copy of the request as well as a record of the transmission or acknowledgement of receipt.
  • Ensure that your TUE application is complete with all the medical information, tests, laboratory results, imaging studies, clinical information to enable the TUEC to reach a decision in tune with WADA’s documents entitled “Medical Information to Support the Decisions of TUECs/TUE Physician Guidelines” available here. Upload all of your medical information to support the use of the prohibited method or substance.
  • Always keep a copy of all your medical information, especially the initial diagnostic together with laboratory results, imaging studies and physicians’ notes.

What are the criteria for granting a TUE?

The criteria are:

  • The athlete would experience significant health problems without taking the prohibited substance or method;
  • The therapeutic use of the substance would not produce significant enhancement of performance;
  • There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or method;
  • The requirement to use that substance or method is not due to the prior use of the substance or method without a TUE which was prohibited at the time of use.

For the TUE to be granted, all four criteria must be met.