The International Standard for TUEs (ISTUE) is the reference standard for the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (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) – *in advance (before taking part in an event) or retroactively (post-event, should they get tested and test positive, as per “other athlete” classification).

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 take a medication which is prohibited in sport (unless it is a medical emergency, in which case a retro-active application will apply). 

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.

It is therefor important for athletes to understand whether they are classified as a National, International Level Athlete or Other Athlete.

 

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). If you meet any of the below mentioned criteria you shall be deemed a National Level Athlete and you need to qualify for a TUE in advance:

  1. Athletes in the SAIDS Registered Testing Pool using criteria including the following:

a. Athletes that participate in National Championships or participate in selection events for National Championships (see table below).

b. Athletes with potential to represent South Africa internationally or become a member of a National Team, who are members of sporting federations.

c. Athletes that represent South Africa internationally but are not in an International Federation’s Registered Testing Pool.

  1. Athletes 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).

With reference to point 1.a. above, athletes who compete in the competitions, events and/or are selected for the senior national teams as specified in the sport codes below need to apply for a TUE in advance:

Sport CodeCompetitionOther Criteria
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: Two Oceans Marathon, Comrades Marathon and Cape Town City MarathonsAthletes selected to represent the senior national team at a continental or world championships
AquaticsAthletes who compete in the open age category at the senior national swimming championship events (includes short course, long course and open water)Athletes selected to represent the senior national men’s and women’s swimming teams at a continental or world championships (includes short course, long course and open water)
BasketballAthletes who compete in the men's Professional Basketball LeagueAthletes selected to represent the senior men's national team at a 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, 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 interprovincial 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
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
ParaSportNot ApplicableAthletes selected to represent South Africa at the World Championships in track and field, cycling and aquatics
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)
ShootingAthletes who compete in shooting disciplines for selection to the Commonwealth and Olympic GamesAthletes selected in national teams for shooting disciplines that form part of an upcoming Commonwealth and Olympic Games
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

 

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) (“positive” result).  However, you should still ensure that you meet the four criteria for granting a TUE and provide the 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 at rado-tue@saids.org.za