Prohibited List

The list of prohibited substances and methods (known as the “Prohibited List”) is usually published on an annual basis by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The updated list enters into force on January 1 of the new year. Every year, Swiss Sport Integrity then publishes the Prohibited List in German and French.

It is the responsibility of each and every athlete to check regularly that the substances and methods they use are not prohibited in sport. For everyday use, we recommend the Medical Inquiry Service Global DRO.

Medical Inquiry Service Global DRO

2022 Prohibited List

New from 2023

The 2023 Prohibited List enters into force on 1 January 2023 and replaces all previous lists.

For the 2023 Prohibited List, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has extended the ban on beta-blockers for two sports. Furthermore, various additional examples of already banned substances were added and formal adjustments were made. These modifications include:

Beta-blockers in minigolf and underwater sports

As of 1 January 2023, beta-blockers will be prohibited in competition in the sport of minigolf. In addition, the prohibition of beta-blockers in all sub-disciplines of the underwater sports of free diving, spear fishing and target shooting will be extended to the out-of-competition period. Thus, beta-blockers will be prohibited at all times in these disciplines as of 2023 (currently already prohibited in competition).

According to the Prohibited List, beta-blockers are only prohibited in certain sports. Due to their relaxing effect on the heart and blood circulation, as well as the prevention of anxiety and muscle trembling, the prohibition applies to sports that require particular accuracy and concentration or in which a lower heart rate can improve performance. Medically, beta-blockers are, among others, used for various cardiovascular diseases.

New examples and synonyms of prohibited substances

For the classes of anabolic agents and stimulants, new examples and synonyms of already prohibited substances were added. Voxelotor was added as an example of a prohibited substance in class M1.2, that can enhance the arterial oxygen saturation. Neutralising antibodies of precursors of myostatin were added to the class S4.3 and apitegromab was added as an example substance.

An exhaustive list of all modifications is provided by the WADA.

Note on Prohibited List 2024

WADA has decided that the substance tramadol (a strong painkiller) will be prohibited in competition according to the Prohibited List 2024. It is important for athletes to know that certain sports federations already prohibit tramadol according to their Medical Rules (i.e., the UCI in all cycling disciplines).

Criteria for Prohibited Substances and Methods

The substances and methods that are included in the Prohibited List are decided by the WADA’s List Expert Group, which is made up of international specialists. As part of this process, substances and methods are assessed according to three criteria: Whether they have the potential to improve performance, whether they represent an actual or potential health risk, and whether or not they run counter to the spirit of sport. Substances or methods shall also be prohibited if they mask the use of prohibited substances or methods.

Prohibited Substances and Methods

The Prohibited List organizes prohibited substances into different classes:

Substances and Methods Prohibited at All Times (In and Out of Competition)

  • S0 Non-approved substances
  • S1 Anabolic agents
  • S2 Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances, and mimetics
  • S3 Beta-2 agonists
  • S4 Hormone and metabolic modulators
  • S5 Diuretics and other masking agents
  • M1 Manipulation of blood and blood components
  • M2 Chemical and physical manipulation
  • M3 Gene and cell doping

Substances and Methods Prohibited in-Competition

  • S6 Stimulants
  • S7 Narcotics
  • S8 Cannabinoids
  • S9 Glucocorticoids

Substances Prohibited in Particular Sports

  • P1 Beta-blockers

More detailed information and knowledge (about substances and methods) can be gained from the Mobile Lesson «Substances and Methods» provided by Swiss Sport Integrity.

Specified and Non-Specified substances and methods

All prohibited substances and methods are divided into specific and non-specific substances or methods. In the event of violations of the anti-doping provisions, the sentence will generally be higher if non-specific substances or methods have been used. Prohibited substances in the following classes are deemed to be non-specific:

  • S1 Anabolic agents
  • S2 Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances, and mimetics
  • S4.3 Agents preventing activin receptor IIB activation (i. e. myostatin inhibitor)
  • S4.4 Metabolic modulators
  • S6.a Non-specific stimulants

Prohibited methods in the following classes are deemed to be non-specific:

  • M1 Manipulation of blood and blood components
  • M2.1 Sample Manipulation
  • M3 Gene and cell doping

Substances of Abuse

Some prohibited substances are identified as substances of abuse because they are frequently abused in society outside of the context of sport. Therefore, the use or possession of substances named above may be subject to less stringent sanctions. This applies only if the substances were used outside of competitions and not for the purposes of enhancing performance.

The following are designated substances of abuse: cocaine, diamorphine (heroin), methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA/”ecstasy”), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Provisions Issued by International Sports Federations

In addition to the anti-doping provisions that apply worldwide, athletes must abide by the rules issued by their International Sports Federations. Certain substances and methods are additionally prohibited in certain sports, even though they do not appear on the Prohibited List.

Examples:

  • The International Cycling Union forbids the painkiller Tramadol. As a substance, Tramadol does however not appear on the Prohibited List 2023. Attention: as of 2024, Tramadol will be prohibited in competition in all sports according to the Prohibited List.
  • Needle Policy: Certain International Sports Federations and the International Olympic Committee regulate the use of any injections during and in the time surrounding their competitions.