The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes today the 2021 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List)
; the 2021 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes
; and the 2021 Monitoring Program
.The 2021 List, which has been redesigned in order to improve navigation and usability for athletes and their support personnel, was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) during its meeting on September 14th-15th, 2020 and comes into force on January 1st, 2021.
The List is one of the International Standards
that are mandatory for all Signatories
of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code)
. It designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition and which substances are banned in particular sports.
As it relates to modifications, the major ones are outlined below:
Substances of abuse: During the two-year review process for the 2021 version of the Code, WADA received considerable stakeholder feedback related to substances of abuse where it was felt that the use of some substances included in the List was often unrelated to sport performance. Accordingly, Article 4.2.3 was added to the Code, and cocaine, diamorphine (heroin), methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA/“ecstasy”) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) have been identified as substances of abuse in the 2021 List. This means that if an athlete can demonstrate that the use of any of these four substances was out-of-competition and unrelated to sport performance, the suspension imposed will now be three months and may be reduced to one month if the athlete completes a drug rehabilitation program.
Meanwhile, implementation of the following major modification to the List will come into force on January 1st, 2022:
Glucocorticoids: The draft 2021 List, which was considered by WADA’s ExCo during its September 2020 meeting, proposed prohibiting all injectable routes of administration of glucocorticoids in-competition. While this modification was approved, the ExCo asked WADA Management to implement the prohibition on January 1st, 2022, to allow enough time for broad communication and education of athletes, their entourage and medical personnel so that there is a better understanding of the practical implementation of washout periods to avoid inadvertent Adverse Analytical Findings. It will also allow WADA-accredited laboratories the time to update their procedures to incorporate the revised and substance-specific reporting values; and, for sports authorities to develop educational tools for athletes, and for medical and support personnel to address the safe use of glucocorticoids for clinical purposes within anti-doping.