Anti-doping is an important part of sport, ensuring a fair playing field and protecting the health and welfare of athletes. As the National Governing Body (NGB) for Olympic skiing and snowboarding, the USSA is required by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Ski Federation (FIS) to comply with the anti-doping rules and regulations established internationally by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in its code for eligibility in these sports. It is not an optional program but a requirement for participation in Olympic sports.

USSA Medical is responsible for the administration of all rules, policies and procedures associated with the WADA code, FIS and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the national anti-doping organization that upholds the WADA Code within Olympic sports in the USA. USSA Medical staff provides ongoing education for athletes, coaches, PT/ATC's and physicians on banned medications and current rules and regulations, as well as policy and procedures for conducting in and out-of-competition doping controls. USSA Medical also provides a liaison to the national and international anti-doping organizations to work towards more effective and efficient anti-doping controls at events.

WADA Code and FIS Anti-Doping Rules USSA Medical ensures all athletes and staff (fulltime and volunteers) have a good understanding of all rules/requirements outlined in the WADA code and FIS anti-doping rules. This includes the requirements of USADA. The following websites can be helpful to you in understanding anti-doping:

World Anti-Doping Agency  
WADA Prohibited List   
U.S. Anti-Doping Agency  
Global Online Drug Reference Online    
FIS Anti-Doping Rules  

Doping Control

All USSA athletes may be subject to doping control (ie, drug testing) at any ski or snowboard competition. In addition, potential Olympic athletes are entered into the USADA out-of-competition (OOC) testing pool. These athletes can be tested at any time or any place outside of competitions, and must use the Athlete Location Form (ALF) to submit their whereabouts to USADA so they can be located for such testing. The following are some resources for athletes to help ensure their compliance with these regulations.

USADA can be contacted for general questions via toll-free phone at 866-601-2632 or via e-mail at

Out of Competition Testing Pool Calendar
Elite athletes at or above a specific national or international ranking are required to participate in testing for prohibited substances outside of competitions. FIS establishes the criteria for the International Out-of-Competition (OOC) Testing Pool and USADA establishes the criteria for the National OOC Test Pool. The USSA must provide a list of athletes who fit the criteria and then facilitates communication of compliance requirements to the athletes.

Those identified athletes establish the OOC test pools for USADA (national) and FIS (international). It is possible that an athlete identified for the national pool would not be included in the international pool. However, if an athlete is identified for the international pool, they also will be included in the national pool.

Therepeutic Use Exemptions
Certain medications utilized to treat normal medical conditions, such as diabetes, are listed on the banned substances list and require a special exemptions process for "legal" use. Responsibility of completing all necessary forms and submission for approval lies with the athlete. USSA Medical will educate athletes regarding these restrictions and the process.


Continuing Education

USSA Medical provides ongoing education through USADA for athletes, coaches, PT/ATCs and physicians on banned medications, current rules and regulations. All USSA Medical Pool members must complete an online tutorial regarding the safe use of medications in sport prior to traveling with the Team.

USADA provides online information on the status of pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. In addition, WADA publishes an annual Guide to Prohibited Substances and Methods of Doping that is available either on the WADA website or as a hard copy publication. 

WADA Guide to Prohibited Substances and Methods of Doping
USADA Guide to Pharmaceuticals and OTC Medications   

USSA Medical also provides a liaison to the national and international anti-doping organizations to work towards more effective and efficient anti-doping controls at events.


Prohibited Substances and Methods

At least once a year, the WADA evaluates and updates the List of Prohibited Substances and Prohibited Methods. USADA maintains an active database, called the Drug Reference Online or Global DRO, of all prohibited substances and prohibited methods, including both brand-names and generic drug names.

Athletes must be aware of any substances they put in their bodies, especially medications. Some medications may be permissible for use out-of-competition, but prohibited for use during a competition. If an athlete's home physician is unfamiliar with anti-doping regulations, they may unknowingly prescribe a banned substance when a permissible alternative is available. It is ultimately the athlete's responsibility to check all medications before taking any.

When searching the DRO, information will be given on whether the drug is banned or permitted. In some cases, a particular medication may be banned only for in-competition use. Some medications may only be banned for certain delivery methods (eg, taking a pill vs. getting an injection). Many medications will state that use of the drug "Requires a TUE." A "Therapeutic Use Exemption," or TUE, is a document that allows certain banned substances or methods to be used for the treatment of an illness, injury, or medical condition. TUE’s must be APPROVED PRIOR to medication use except in case of an emergency. Searches of the DRO will also give you a reference number for the search. It is advisable to print the drug search page with the reference number and keep it for your records. If a medication is later added to the banned list, then this sheet can serve as proof that the substance was permitted at the time medication was administered. PLEASE NOTE that if a medication is taken on a long term basis, it should be searched annually (January 1st) to ensure that it hasn’t be added to the banned list.

If an athlete needs medications that contain a banned substance or method, he or she must submit a TUE application and get approval prior to using the medication.

USADA has two simple rules for athletes regarding prohibited substances and methods:

  1. Don't use any prohibited substances.
  2. Get approval before you take any medications.

Dietary Supplements

When it comes to dietary supplements (also sometimes called nutritional supplements), athletes often find themselves in a difficult situation. Many athletes consider supplements be essential to training or eating right. Unfortunately supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and therefore can have inconsistent ingredients and/or be cross contaminated with other substances made in the same factory. These situations have lead athletes to have positive anti-doping tests. It also make the answer to the question "is this supplement safe" a difficult one to answer. USADA has created Supplement 411 online which explains the risks of taking supplements and helps athletes to make an informed decision about their use.


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