An athlete abroad

When an athlete goes abroad to compete, train or for a holiday, he or she should try to foresee any possible illnesses that may arise and their subsequent treatment. An athlete's luggage should always include an up-to-date list of substances and methods prohibited in sports.

Before the trip

Before a trip abroad, an athlete should make a list of any medications, nutritional supplements, vitamins and recovery products they use. This will facilitate any possible doping test situations and ensure that the names of the preparations are recorded correctly on the doping control form.

It's also advisable to check at least one month before your trip abroad that any possible TUEs are still valid. TUE applications of international-level athletes and athletes participating in international sporting events must be submitted in advance to the athlete's International Federation (according to the Federation's rules), regardless of the athlete's age or national level. If the athlete already has a TUE approved by FINADA, he or she shall find out if the International Federation automatically recognises the TUE granted by FINADA or if the TUE must be submitted to the International Federation for evaluation. The athlete must keep a copy of the TUE certificate with him or her.

It is best to pack some permitted medicines for pain, colds and diarrhoea that have been bought at home before going abroad. This will save one from unnecessarily worrying and having to check foreign medicines during the trip. Please take into consideration the customs rules concerning bringing medications into different countries.

Before the trip it is also advisable to obtain the contact information of the antidoping agency in the destination country, so that one can ask for advice about the medications sold in the country in question if necessary.

While travelling

Table II of FINADA's list of prohibited substances and methods includes only preparations sold in Finland. Preparations sold abroad, including those with the same name as those sold in Finland, cannot be checked from FINADA's list. Their contents must be checked using the English list of prohibited substances and methods published by WADA or from FINADA's Table I.

If an athlete needs treatment from a physician while abroad, he or she should always seek help from a licensed physician. One should be particularly careful with injections. The athlete should make sure that he or she is not given or prescribed any prohibited substances in connection with treatment. In an emergency requiring urgent treatment, an athlete may have to be treated without the necessary information about doping substances. In this case, the athlete must request a comprehensive record of the pharmacological substances used in the treatment and, if necessary, apply for a TUE retroactively.

Athletes should purchase all medicines from a pharmacy and make sure that the medicines are those that were originally prescribed.

If necessary, the athlete should contact their own physician or the physician of their sports association.

Olli Heinonen

Olli Heinonen

Acting medical Director

phone: +35840 586 5157

e-mail: info@suek.fi

Anna Simula

Anna Simula

Pharmacist, TUEs

phone: +358 400 338 510

e-mail: anna.simula@suek.fi