Scottish Rugby is committed to the fight against doping in sport. It is completely against the integrity of rugby and is counter to Scottish Rugby's core principles of Leadership, Engagement, Achievement, Enjoyment and Respect.
Scottish Rugby recognises the importance of testing, both in-competition or out of competition, which protects the integrity of the sport and provides a deterrent against the temptation to dope. Scottish Rugby also recognises the importance of education to establish an environment which influences doping free behaviour amongst players and minimises the risk of inadvertent doping.
This information is required by players, player support personnel and clubs to enable them to make informed choices in compliance with the anti-doping regulations.
Each year Scottish Rugby produces a Report highlighting the key features of our activities aimed at keeping rugby in Scotland doping free.
The Report in particular highlights the testing programme undertaken within Scottish Rugby. Testing can – and does – take place at all levels of the game. Scottish Rugby is committed to publicising the results of our testing programme and the Report contains details of those currently under suspension for doping offences.
Advice on Medications
Remember to check all medications using Global DRO at www.globaldro.com where you can search by ingredients or brand name.
Therapeutic Use Exemptions
The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process is a means by which a player can obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.
Players should advise all medical personnel (GPs, Team Doctors) of their obligation to abide by the anti-doping rules of their sport and that any medical treatment received must not violate these rules.
When prescribed a substance or method, players should find out whether the medication is prohibited by checking the Global DRO site. If the medication is not prohibited, players can start using the prescribed medication or treatment.
A TUE is required for players at the following levels of competition:
1. Players in UK Anti-Doping’s National Registered Testing Pool
2. Scotland Men’s Squads (Senior XV, Scotland A, Sevens, U20s)
3. Scotland Women & Scotland Women 7s
4. Pro14 League teams
5. Tennent’s Premiership
International Players prior to their participation in any International Match or International Tournament organised by World Rugby must obtain a TUE from World Rugby’s TUE Committee in advance of the administration of the Prohibited Substance
TUEs for all other level should be submitted to UK Anti-Doping for review. Only in emergency situations (e.g. allergic reaction, exacerbation of asthma, onset of bell’s palsy) should treatment begin without TUE approval.
A player not required to apply for a TUE prior to competition can make a retroactive TUE application to UK Anti-Doping. Any player requiring a retroactive TUE has five days post the receipt of an adverse analytical finding (AAF) to submit a retroactive application. Typically, a player will receive a letter from UKAD informing them of the requirements to apply for a retroactive TUE for the prohibited substance detected in their sample. Scottish Rugby or UKAD may also contact the player to make them aware that this correspondence is on its way, in relevant circumstances.
We encourage any player who has been tested, without a TUE in place who may require one, to contact UKAD to discuss the process to better understand their rights and responsibilities. Even if a player is eligible to apply for a retrospective TUE, checks should be made with the prescribing physician that the criteria and medical evidence needed by the Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC) can be met before the player uses any prohibited substance or method.
Details on the Therapeutic Use Exemption process can be found via the below link.
Prohibited Substances and Methods
Each year the World Anti-Doping Agency produces a list of substances which athletes are not allowed to take together with a list of "prohibited methods" (such as blood doping). This document is known as the WADA Prohibited List. Please note that:
- Some substances are prohibited at any time and some are only prohibited "in-competition" i.e. on match day or within 24 hours of a match; and
- Under the principle of Strict Liability, players are solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their system whether there was an intention to cheat or not.
A copy of the current Prohibited List, which came into effect on 1 January 2019, can be found below.
Before taking medicationBefore taking any medication players are advised to check its ingredients on the Global Drug Reference Online website (Global DRO), which will confirm whether the substance is permitted or not. Please note that this website will not confirm the safety of dietary supplements.
Advice on Supplements
Players are strongly advised to be very cautious if they choose to take any supplement such as vitamin tablets, energy drinks, or sport-nutrition formulas. This is because there is no guarantee that any supplement is free from banned substances.
Before making a decision to use supplements Players are advised to:
- Read Scottish Rugby’s Position Statement on the Use of Supplements
- Assess the consequences to their careers – they could receive a four-year ban
Assess the need to use supplements by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist on their need to use supplement products
Assess the risks associated with supplements and undertake thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking
However, supplement risks can be reduced by:
- undertaking thorough internet research
- only using batch-tested products
- checking on Informed-Sport Informed Sport (which is a risk minimisation programme) that the supplement has been only using batch-tested
- Illicit Drug Factsheets
Useful Links and Resources
It is strongly recommended that all players and athlete support personnel (coaches, conditioners, physios, etc) read the following Guidance Documents from Scottish Rugby. Clubs are requested to attach a hard copy of both documents to their Club Noticeboard:-
Players and athlete support personnel may also wish to download the 100% me Elite Athlete Clean Sport & World Anti-Doping Agency Apps for Smartphones.
If you can't find the information you're looking for or have a specific query, please email Scottish Rugby at [email protected]. All enquiries will be treated as confidential.