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.
The information needed for TUE applications by athletes with a specific medical condition can be found on the WADA website (click here).

Who should have a MEDICAL FILE in place?

Any athlete using a prohibited substance for medical reasons must have a medical file in place with the information needed to support the diagnosis and treatment of their medical condition prior to the use of a prohibited substance.

Who needs to apply for a TUE?

This is based largely on the athlete's level of competition:

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

TUE Application Process?

  • Contact the relevant International Federations (IFs) or SAIDS (whichever applies) and ask for information about the TUE Application process.
  • The TUE application form (click here) should be filled out and signed by a physician and the required supporting documentation provided and forwarded to the IF or SAIDS (whichever applies) for approval.
    • To submit the TUE application to SAIDS here are the contact details:
      • Email it to the TUE administrator at rado-tue@saids.org.za or fax to 086 242 7077.
      • Or contact the SAIDS head-office of any further information on 021 686 1634.
  • 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:
  • Your TUE application must allow the SAIDS TUE Commission to make the diagnosis, not be told the diagnosis.
  • Complete ALL the section on the TUE form - either typed or handwritten in block capital letters. If the form is not legible, it is deemed incomplete and will be returned.
  • 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” (click 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.