WADA Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE)

Athletes may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications.

If the medication an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to fall under the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine. …


A few examples:

This list evolves over time “based on the evolution of medical best practice“.

Simone in 2015

Athlete medical records should be private. But in 2016 Russian hackers broke into the WAG database and revealed that athletes including Serena WilliamsVenus Williams and Simone Biles had received TUEs.

Russian boxer Mikhail Aloyan, who won a silver medal in Rio, had one, as well.

Simone had received an exemption for her attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

There are those who feel that some TUEs are another form of cheating. If you agree, lobby to have those medications taken off the list.

For now, TUEs are legal. 

Everyone I know agrees that Răducan, 2000 Olympic Champion, should not have been stripped of the gold medal for testing positive for pseudoephedrine, a banned substance at the time. Some medications should be allowed.

___ In a separate issue …

The International Olympic Committee finally took meaningful action against what it acknowledged had been “systematic” cheating by the nation at London 2012 and Sochi 2014, outlawing its flag, uniform and anthem from Pyeongchang 2018. …

Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko, who was sports minister at the time of the scandal, was also handed a lifetime Olympic ban …


Better late than never.

It’s false equivalency to claim that what Simone did is the same as a nationally organized, top down deliberate system of cheating.

I’m very unhappy for the clean Russian athletes, including all of the Artistic gymnasts. But I support the IOC sanction. Otherwise Putin’s team would continue deliberate cheating as vigorously as possible.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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