The essence of the Therapeutic Use Exemption in the Sports Health Law and Sports Health Care

The source of the picture is WADA.

Every single athlete can be affected by illness or those conditions which requires some medicines. Therefore it is indispensable to know about the Therapeutic Use of Exemption (TUE). What it is? How can a particular athlete apply for it? Why is it necessary? For what kind of conditions shall be the TUE applied by an athlete? The present article will answer all of the aforementioned questions in nutshell. 


NADO or ADO: National Anti-Doping Organization

WADA: World Anti-Doping Agency

TUE: Therapeutic Use Exemption

TUEC: Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee

IF: International Federation

MEO: Major Event Organization

CAS: Court of Arbitration for Sport

What is the TUE?

As everybody can be ill, it often happens with the athletes too. If an athlete suffers in a particular illness or suffer in other bad conditions these requires a particular or more than one medicine (substantives). If these medications appears on the Prohibited List, the particular athlete may be granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) which gives the athlete permission to take it. 

Why the TUE necessary for an athlete?

TUE provides that the particular athlete can be able to obtain treatment for legitimate medical conditions – even though that treatment requires a prohibited substance (medicine) or method or use of other principle of cure method. The aim of the TUE process avoids the risk of sanctions or other legal procedure due to the positive test. This procedure impedes that the particular athlete being suspected by the Doping Panel.

For what kind of conditions shall be the TUE applied by an athlete?

In a case of any medicines and other dietary supplement pills taking.

Who can apply for the TUE?

Any athlete can apply for the TUE who may be subject to doping control must request a TUE before taking a prohibited medication. All information of the athlete in relation with request must be kept strictly confidential.

When the TUE form shall be applied by the athlete?

A TUE application form must be submitted at least 30 days before taking part an event. In a case of emergency or exceptional case the TUE maybe approved  retroactively.

How can a particular athlete apply for the TUE? The course of the TUE process.

1. As a first step, every athlete request a TUE form their relevant national anti-doping organization (ADO) or through ADAMS*.

  • ADAMS: Anti-Doping Administration and Management System

2. As a second step, the athlete’s physician examines the athlete and fills out the TUE form. After the examination the request form shall be sent back to the relevant ADO.

3. As a third step, a panel of experts selected by the ADO reviews the athlete TUE form and it will grant the TUE if:

  • The athlete’s health will be impaired if the athlete does not take the medicine or necessary substances.
  • The medical substance does not enhance the athlete’s performance beyond what brings the athlete back to the normal health.
  • There are no any other alternative treatments or solutions available.

4. As a fourth step, ADO in its decision always advises if the particular athlete can take the requested medication or not. In the case of a denied application form (request), the athlete will be informed of the reasons of the decision. The athlete has a  right to appeal the decision.

May the athlete file an appeal against the dismissive decision?

Yes he/she can. If the athlete qualifies as National-Level Athlete, the athlete can submit his/her appeal to the National-Level Body or if the athlete enters to a Major Event Organization (MEO) and it has an own TUE requirements, the athlete may appeal to the MEO Appeal Body. The first instance procedure is free.

In some case the decision of NADO maybe appealed by the athlete to WADA.

If the athlete qualifies as an International-Level Athlete, he/she may appeal to International Federation (IF) – Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee (TUEC). If it denies the TUE, the athlete may refer to review the decision by WADA TUEC or he/she may appeal directly to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

If the athlete’s case is accepted by WADA, the athlete will be asked to pay an administrative fee of 500 USD.

WADA reserves the right not to review the athlete’s case for various reasons.  In that event, the athlete may always reapply to his/her NADO to has a new TUE application considered, especially if there is new compelling medical information presented.

Who does the athlete contact or where the athlete does return his/her form?

National-Level Athletes: National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO). In the case of Hungary, it is Hungarian Anti-Doping Organization (HUNADO or MACS). 

TUE info line (Hungary):




International-Level Athletes: International Federation (IF).

Headquarters: 800 Place Victoria, Suite 1700, P.O. Box 120, Montreal, QC, H4Z 1B7, Canada • Tel.: +1.514.904.9232 • Fax: +1.514.904.8650;

Europe: Maison du Sport International, Avenue de Rhodanie 54, 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland • Tel.: +41.21.343.43.40 • Fax: +41.21.343.43.41.

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