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What is a Therapeutic Use Exemption? 

The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process is a means by which an athlete can obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.

There are two types of TUE available :

  1. Full TUE - Application for a TUE must be made in advance of using the prohibited medication and, in line with the WADA regulations, is only required for national and international level athletes

  3. Retroactive TUE - Athletes who are not national or international level and are using a prohibited medication for therapeutic purposes, apply for a TUE only if and when they are selected for testing


Am I a National or International level athlete?

You become a national level athlete if your National Association notifies you that you have been selected for out of competition testing, you are in a Registered Testing Pool (NRTP or DTP) and you have been asked to provide whereabouts information.

You become an international level athlete if your International Federation (IF) notifies you that you have been selected for out-of-competition testing, you are in an International Registered Testing Pool (IRTP) and you have been asked to provide whereabouts information, or if you are otherwise defined as an international athlete in accordance with the rules of your IF (this normally means that you have been selected to represent your nation at an international championship or you are competing at major international competition).  Visit the IAAF website for the most up to date list of competitions which the IAAF defines as 'international'.  

What should I do if I am drug-tested

Should you be drug-tested before becoming a national or international athlete you should do the following:

  • Note any medication you have used within 7 days of the test on the Doping Control Form.

  • If a UKA Clean Athletics Representative is available at the time of your test, advise them that you may need to submit an emergency retroactive TUE.
  • Contact the UKA Clean Athletics Manager immediately on 07803 671978 for guidance on how to proceed with the retroactive TUE application. 


It is important to note that retroactive TUEs are considered against the same criteria as other TUEs and there is no guarantee than an application will be authorised.  All TUE applications need to be supported by medical evidence from your GP and it is important that athletes check with their GP that sufficient supporting evidence is available.  Information on the criteria and evidence required for granting a TUE can be found here.