The Prohibited List is an international standard that identifies substances and methods that are prohibited in sport. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is responsible for the preparation and publication of the Prohibited List, which it updates every year effective January 1.

Athletes should be aware of the classes of substances that are on the Prohibited List, and should be careful to check the status of any medication they consume to ensure that it won’t result in a positive test.

What is the Prohibited List?

  • Identifies which substances are prohibited in-competition and/or out-of-competition.
  • Identifies which substances are prohibited in particular sports.
  • Distinguishes between specified and non-specified substances.
  • Separated into categories (e.g., steroids, stimulants, gene doping).

How often is the Prohibited List updated?

  • The Prohibited List is generally updated once every year. The revisions are published in October and come into effect the first of January.
  • Changes and additions can be made at any time throughout the year.
  • Guidelines for the annual review and publication of the Prohibited List are outlined in the World Anti-Doping Code.

Why is a substance or method added to the Prohibited List?

For a substance or method to be added to the Prohibited List it must meet at least two of the three following criteria:

  • There is evidence that the substance or method has the potential to or does enhance performance,
  • There is evidence that the substance or method represents an actual or potential health risk to the athlete, and
  • WADA has determined that use of the substance or method violates the spirit of sport.

Read about the banned substances and methods on the Prohibited List.