Who needs to apply for a TUE?

The International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE) is the reference standard for the SAIDS TUE application process. The definitions outlined below comply with the ISTUE.

What Level Athlete am I?

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).
  • If you are elevated to the status of a National Level Athlete, you need to check the status of your medication immediately as this means that you need to apply for a TUE if you are using a prohibited medication and/or a prohibited method.
  • Athletes who meet the SAIDS criteria for National Level Athletes (or the International Level Athlete criteria set by their sport's International Federation) need to apply for a TUE before they use a medication or method which is prohibited in sport (unless it is a medical emergency).
It is important for athletes to understand whether they are classified as a National, International Level Athlete or Other Athlete - here is the criteria (to download the document click here):

(a) National Level Athletes

SAIDS determines the criteria for a National Level Athlete (in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the SAIDS Anti-Doping Rules). You qualify as a National Level Athlete if you meet any of the following criteria:
  1. You are included in the SAIDS Registered Testing Pool (RTP). SAIDS will inform you if you are included in the RTP as you will be invited to an education session to inform you of your obligations and responsibilities. If you are unsure of your status and would like to know whether you are an RTP athlete, please contact the SAIDS TUE Administrator Ayanda Zwane at rado-tue@saids.org.za .
  2. You are selected in the senior South African Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games team.
  3. You are included on the long list for selection for the senior South African Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games teams.
  4. You compete in the competitions and/or are selected for the senior national teams as specified in the sport codes[1] below:
Sport CodeCompetitionOther Criteria
[1] The 20 sport codes with the highest number of cumulative tests over the past 3 years

[2] The 2017 Athletics South Africa calendar as displayed on its webpage at the following link https://athletics.org.za/asa-2017-fixture
AthleticsAthletes who compete at the senior national track and field, race walking, cross country and road running championships and who are entered in the elite category at the following AIMS identified marathons on the Athletics South Africa events calendar: Cape Peninsula, Maritzburg City, Two Oceans, Comrades, Big Five, Mandela and Cape Town City MarathonsAthletes selected to represent the senior national team at a continental or world championships
BasketballAthletes who compete in the men’s Professional Basketball LeagueAthletes (SANABO) selected to represent the senior men’s national team at an Amateur Boxing (AIBA) continental or world championships
BoxingAthletes who compete at the senior national men’s Amateur Boxing Championships
Athletes who are national champions and are ranked in the top 10 of their various categories in Professional Boxing
Athletes (SANABO) selected to represent the senior men’s national team at an Amateur Boxing (AIBA) continental or world championships
CanoeingAthletes who compete in the elite category at the senior national sprint and marathon championships and the elite category at the Dusi and Berg River MarathonsAthletes selected to represent the senior national sprint and marathon teams at continental or world championships
CricketAthletes who compete in the national four day, one day and T20 men’s competitionAthletes selected for the under 19 national men’s team and senior national men’s and women’s team in the following formats: tests, one day and T20
CyclingAthletes who compete in the elite category at the senior national championship events (includes road, track, mountain bike and BMX championships). Additional events include athletes entered in the elite category of the Cape Epic, Joberg2C, Sani2C, Cape Pioneer, Nissan Trailseeker and National Mountain Bike seriesAthletes selected to represent the senior national team to compete at a continental or world championship event (includes road, track, mountain bike and BMX)
FootballAthletes who compete in the Premier Soccer LeagueAthletes selected to represent the senior and under 20 national men’s and women’s team to compete at a continental or world championships
GolfAthletes who compete in the senior men’s and women’s amateur and inter-provincial championshipsAthletes selected to represent the senior national men’s and women’s team at a continental or world championships
HockeyAthletes who compete in the senior men’s and women’s national inter-provincial championships and the Premier Hockey LeagueAthletes selected to represent the senior national men’s and women’s team at a continental or world championships
Ice HockeyAthletes who compete in National Super LeagueAthletes selected to represent the senior national men’s team at a world championships
JudoAthletes who compete in the elite men’s and women’s senior national championships (all weight categories)Athletes selected to represent the senior national men’s and women’s team at a continental or world championships
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)Athletes who compete in the EFC ChampionshipsNot Applicable
NetballAthletes who compete in the National Netball LeagueAthletes selected for the senior women’s national teams
Paralympic SportNot ApplicableAthletes selected to represent South Africa at the World Championships in track and field, cycling and swimming
PowerliftingAthletes who compete in the elite men’s and women’s senior national championships (all weight categories and disciplines e.g. bench press, squat)Athletes selected to represent the senior national men’s and women’s team at a continental or world championships
RowingAthletes who compete in the elite men’s and women’s senior national championshipsAthletes selected to represent the senior national men’s and women’s team at a continental or world championships
RugbyAthletes who compete in the senior Currie Cup and Super Rugby competitionAthletes selected in the national under 20 team and senior male and female national teams (sevens and fifteens)
SwimmingAthletes who compete in the open age category at the senior national championship event (includes short course, long course and open water)Athletes selected to represent the senior national men’s and women’s team at a continental or world championships (includes short course, long course and open water)
TriathlonAthletes who compete in the elite (standard, long and ultra distance) category at the senior national championships and at the Ironman events.Athletes who are selected as part of the TSA high performance squads. Athletes who are licensed to compete in world cup or professional Ironman triathlon events
WrestlingAthletes who compete in the elite men’s and women’s category at the senior national championships (all weight categories)Athletes selected to represent the senior national men’s and women’s team at a continental or world championships
  1. Athlete’s competing internationally representing South Africa either as individuals or as part of a team; but if any such Athletes are classified by their respective International Federations as International Level Athletes, then they shall be considered International Level Athletes (and not National-Level Athletes).
  Please note the following:
  • If you are competing in an event that qualifies you as a National Level Athlete, you should have a TUE in place seven (7) days prior to the event start date and it should last at least for the duration of the event.
  • If you are selected in a national team as stipulated under the criteria section of the specific code in the above table, and you need to take a prohibited medication or use a prohibited method, then you should apply for a TUE as soon as you are selected. If you lose your place in the team due to injury or performance, you still qualify as a National Level Athlete for this period i.e. for the calendar year in which you were part of the team and you must have a TUE in place as you could still be tested during this time.

(b) International Level Athletes

  • The criteria for an International Level Athlete is determined by a sport’s International Federation (IF).
  • One of the criteria is your inclusion in your International Federation’s RTP. Your IF will inform you of your inclusion in their RTP.
  • If you you are competing internationally, you should check with your IF whether you have to apply for a TUE from your IF rather than SAIDS. International Level Athletes should have a TUE from their IF in place.

(c) Other Athletes

All other athletes qualify for a retroactive TUE, which means you only need to apply if you are tested and you return an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF).  However, you might want to make sure that you meet the criteria and medical evidence required by the SAIDS TUE Commission before you start using the medication.

If you are unsure what level athlete you are or have other questions on the above please contact SAIDS at 021 686 1634 or e-mail the TUE Administrator, Ayanda Zwane, at rado-tue@saids.org.za