In short – “TUE ( Therapeutic Use Exemption) is a system that grant athletes to take medicines that would otherwise contain substances that are banned by WADA.”
Recently hackers released confidential medical records of top athletes and it was brought in open that few of them misuse an exemption meant for therapeutic use of drugs. In response athletes put the argument by saying they were permitted to use those substances via TUE, thus not only escaping the accountability of consuming banned substances but also evading the consequences there of.
Substances like prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisone and oxycodone are banned under the WADA ( World Anti Doping Agency) code – But the concern is that TUE legalizes the use of banned drugs under certain circumstances. Hence, it won’t be incorrect to say that TUE implicitly provides athletes – ” license for doping“.
The issue was brought up by the American cyclist – Tyler Hamilton in his famous book ” The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France “, wherein he explained how competitors used TUE to hide unfair practices.
In one of its own report, WADA also observed that TUE applications and approvals in recent times are increasing by 40-50% every year – which asserts the claim made by Tyler Hamilton.
Recently, William sister’s were tested positive for – Cortisone and Corticosteroids – that increases the airflow to the lungs and also reduces pain during high intensity activity.
So, the objective for which TUE is used may differ but what is at stake is the integrity of the procedure. If it is being misused in the name of treating some phantom ailment – then perhaps its the time to look into it in a much more comprehensive manner and come up with certain rules and regulations that uphold the principle of fairness.
Note: Not every banned substance can be used under TUE. Though the procedure to apply for TUE goes under various check and is constantly reviewed and renewed.
International athletes are required to submit their application for TUE to the IF ( International Federation ) of their sport , while National level athletes apply with NADA ( National Anti Doping Agency ) .