Prohibited Substances and Methods in Sports 2017

The Prohibited Substances and Methods in Sports list of the Finnish Center for Integrity in Sports (FINCIS)/Finnish Anti-Doping Agency (FINADA) is based on the Prohibited List published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The official version of the Prohibited List is maintained by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and it is published in English and French. The information in this publication is based on WADA's Prohibited List and WADA's other International Standards and provisions. In the event of any conflict between different language versions or translations of Table I, WADA's English-language documents shall prevail.

Table I: Doping agent groups and doping substances (in Finnish)
Table II: Prohibited and permitted medicines (in Finnish)
Updates to Table I and II (in Finnish)
Superscript explanations (Tables I and II, in English)

As new pharmaceutical products enter the market, FINADA will update the lists it maintains and will post them on its website. The lists do not contain information on all pharmaceutical products used in Finland. The athlete must ensure that he/she has the latest Prohibited Substances and Methods in Sports list. If necessary, he/she must contact his/her sports federation or the FINADA's office. Athletes can join a mailing list at the FINADA website to receive email notifications of any updates to the list.

Table I corresponds to the WADA list of prohibited substances and methods 2017. Some of the substances are not available in Finland. The Prohibited List is available in English on the WADA website (

Table II lists, in alphabetical order, prohibited and permitted pharmaceutical products which were available in Finland at the end of 2016. Medicines that become available after this date will be added to Table II on the FINADA website. The lists cover both prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Technochemical products, homeopathic preparations, nutritional supplements and herbal products are excluded. The composition of such products must be ascertained from the vendor or importer. Table II shows prohibited medicines in bold print and underlined. Medicines that are underlined and in italics (but not in bold) in Table II are conditionally prohibited, such as prohibited in some sports or when administered in certain ways. Superscript indicates a footnote that can be found at the end of the table. The footnotes contain detailed information and notes about the prohibited and permitted substances.

Whenever receiving medical treatment, athletes should show these lists to their physicians to prevent accidental prescriptions of medicines containing prohibited substances. Similarly, when buying over-the-counter medicines from a pharmacy, athletes should compare these medicines with the substances featured on these lists. If a physician prescribes a medicine prepared at a pharmacy and without a trade name (a so-called ex tempore medicine), the athlete should ask the physician or the pharmacist whether the medicine contains any of the prohibited substances in a prohibited form as listed in Table I.

The FINADA list of ‘permitted medicines' includes only substances that are legally regarded as pharmaceutical products, i.e. they have been granted market approval and are controlled by the authorities and pharmaceutical companies. Nutritional supplements, other food products or technochemical products are not subject to such control that they could be classified as ‘permitted'. Contact the manufacturer or importer to ask about their composition or to request a certificate verifying that the product does not contain any substances that will cause an adverse analytical finding. As far as FINADA is aware, foodstuffs, beauty products or technochemical products have not led to any adverse analytical findings. However, athletes are always personally responsible for any adverse analytical findings.

Medicines containing glycerine (a.k.a. glycerol) are listed as permitted in Table II, since glycerine is prohibited only when administered in fairly large doses as a plasma expander. Correspondingly, tablets and capsules containing mannitol as a binder are also listed as permitted in Table II since mannitol is only prohibited when administered intravenously.

As Table II contains pharmaceutical products available only in Finland and, on the other hand, there may be pharmaceutical products available in Finland and other countries with the same name but containing different pharmacological substances, do not use Table II to check the status of medicines obtained abroad. As regards medicines obtained abroad, check WADA's original Prohibited List in English ( or the corresponding FINADA Table I to ensure that they do not contain prohibited substances.

Nutritional supplements

Nutritional supplements are food products that resemble medicines in their appearance and method of use. They are available, for instance, in the form of tablets, capsules or powders.

Even if the list of ingredients does not mention prohibited substances, nutritional supplements may occasionally contain prohibited substances as impurities, including testosterone and nandrolone precursors (detected, for example, in tribulus terrestris and creatine products, as well as ‘testosterone and growth hormone boosters') or stimulants (detected, for example, in ginseng preparations, ‘fat burners', ‘performance boosters' and weight-loss preparations). It is worth noting that for the past five years, the most common cause worldwide for an adverse analytical finding for stimulants has been methylhexaneamine contained in nutritional supplements, also known as dimethylamylamine, DMAA, pentylamine, geranamine and geranium extract. Methylhexaneamine has since been withdrawn from the market in many countries, including Finland, but it is still available through some online stores outside Finland. To replace methylhexaneamine, a new performance booster appeared on the nutritional supplement market in 2015, namely 4-amino 2-methylpentane citrate (AMP citrate, or 1,3-dimethylbutylamine, DMBA), which is a prohibited stimulant as well.

FINADA is only able to provide information about market-approved pharmaceutical products, the contents of which are investigated and controlled strictly by pharmaceutical companies and authorities. FINADA does not analyse nutritional supplements or production batches of these, nor does it classify nutritional supplements as permitted or prohibited, or as safe or suspect. Nor does FINADA maintain lists of the composition of domestic or foreign nutritional supplements or other sports products. As a result, FINADA cannot provide information on the composition of nutritional supplements. Furthermore, it is not possible to analyse the chemical compositions of special dietary supplements or nutritional supplements through FINADA, or to check for possible traces of prohibited substances.

Some vendors have started to market and advertise their products by having the products analysed for doping agents and by providing them with various purity or anti-doping certificates. However, a so-called antidoping certificate is no guarantee that a product is free of antidoping agents because the products are not analysed for all the substances in WADA's Prohibited List but only for substances specified by the manufacturer of the product or substances that the analysing laboratory is capable of analysing. It is also worth noting that the composition of nutritional supplements and potential impurities in them may vary from one production batch to another and an analysis is usually made of a single batch only. In some cases, no analysis has been made at all, but the supplement manufacturer or vendor claims that WADA has classified their product as permitted. However, WADA does not provide such classification nor does it issue any certificates concerning the permissibility of nutritional supplements. In practice, the supplement manufacturer's claim is based on the fact that the list of ingredients of the product does not mention any substance included in WADA's Prohibited List.

Athletes should not use nutritional supplements for any purpose without first ascertaining their chemical composition although in practice it is impossible to prove that a given product is safe. According to the WADA rules, an adverse analytical finding resulting from the use of nutritional supplements will be regarded as an anti-doping rule violation, irrespective of whether the prohibited substance was listed on the product label and regardless of any anti-doping certificates issued for the product. Athletes can request a written certificate from the vendor or importer verifying that their products do not contain prohibited substances. Even then, athletes should bear in mind that they are personally responsible for the use of the product and any adverse analytical findings.

Homeopathic preparations

There is no reliable information on the composition of homeopathic preparations. Most homeopathic preparations contain mostly water and they are not known to have caused adverse analytical findings.

Amendments to last year's list and provisions

Changes made to the list of prohibited substances and methods for 2017 compared with that of 2016 are minor ones. No new substance groups have been added to the list.

New examples have been added to the list of substances that increase the red blood cell production. Arimistane has been added to the list of aromatase inhibitors, and nicomorphine to the list of narcotics.

The permitted dose of inhaled salbutamol, used for the treatment of asthma, among other things, has been amended. Previously, the maximum permitted dose of inhaled salbutamol was expressed as 1600 micrograms per day; the permitted dose is now expressed as 800 micrograms per 12 hours. This is to emphasise that the permitted daily dose shall not be taken all at once. For inhaled salmeterol, the permitted daily dose is now 200 micrograms. Higenamine is now listed as an example in the list of β2 agonists. Higenamine was also prohibited in 2016, although it was not explicitly mentioned in the Prohibited List. Certain nutritional supplements (including preparations made from the plant Tinospora crispa) may contain higenamine.

The use of supplemental oxygen has caused plenty of debate. A mention has been added on the WADA list under M1 (Manipulation of Blood and Blood Components) stating that the use of supplemental oxygen as an inhalation is not prohibited.

Olli Heinonen

Olli Heinonen

Acting medical Director

phone: +35840 586 5157


Anna Simula

Anna Simula

Pharmacist, TUEs

phone: +358 400 338 510