Banned substances in cycling

Posted on 12 February 2013

Doping in sport has enjoyed quite a bit of media coverage lately, highlighting the need for more stringent monitoring of athletes of all levels when taking part in sporting events, and the Absa Cape Epic is no exception.

In the past, drug testing has been limited largely to the top riders in each category. My feeling is, given the current situation, the net should be cast wider and include random samples from a broader scope of athletes – both professional and amateur,” says Dr Basil Bonner, race doctor and specialised medical projects manager: Mediclinic Events.

One of the challenges to this scenario is that a participant could take something seemingly innocuous for a sniffle, which contains a banned substance. The best solution is knowledge and information sharing. In general, it is better not to take any kind of medication before or during the event unless you absolutely have to, and then to make 100% sure that it does not contain anything illegal. You wouldn’t want a simple cold remedy to ruin your race.

Of course, there are people with chronic conditions who have to take medication which may contain substances on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) 2013 Prohibited List. This includes certain treatments for well-known, chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma, but might also include newer, less familiar ones, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,” Dr Bonner explains. Competitors with these conditions are advised to apply for a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) timeously, part of which needs to be completed by the prescribing doctor or specialist. You will also have to contact the official body responsible, for example the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport, to register and implement the exemption.

Besides being able to assist with this, or any other medical issues cyclists may have in the run up to the event, Mediclinic, as the official medical service provider and partner to the ABSA Cape Epic, will have a dedicated, professional team providing cost-free world-class medical services to all at the event.

For a full list of prohibited substances, click here.

For a full list of allowed and banned medications (brand names), click here.



The information provided in this article was correct at the time of publishing. At Mediclinic we endeavour to provide our patients and readers with accurate and reliable information, which is why we continually review and update our content. However, due to the dynamic nature of clinical information and medicine, some information may from time to time become outdated prior to revision.

Published in Healthy Life

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.

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