Anti Doping

WADA Code observer since 2014

IRF Position on Doping in Sport

The IRF is unequivocally opposed, on ethical and medical grounds, to the practice of doping in sport and fully supports the position of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the use of banned substances and methods.

The use, possession and/or trafficking of banned substances, methods, or the encouragement or counseling to use banned substances, or methods, and/or taking measures to mask the use of banned substances, or methods by any participant in competitions over which the IRF has jurisdiction is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

IRF Anti Doping History

In support of the IRF Position on Doping in Sport, the IRF Anti Doping programme was initiated in 2009 by the IRF Sport and Competition Committee. Doping tests were proposed for major international rafting competition events from 2011 forward, and in 2014 the IRF Board of Directors approved race rules which required World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Code compliant doping tests mandatory for all Category A (World Championship) level events. The first Code compliant tests were conducted in 2014 at the IRF European Rafting Championship in Slovakia and again later that year at the World Rafting Championship in Brazil.  The IRF implements a strict adherence to the Code as a way to ensure a clean, healthy and fair sporting atmosphere for all athletes.

The WADA Code

The WADA Code is the core document that harmonises anti-doping policies, rules and regulations within sport organisations and among public authorities around the world.

It works in conjunction with six international standards which describe how the various technical aspects of anti-doping work have to be performed.

After attaining Observer Status with the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) in October 2019, the IRF became eligible to apply for WADA Code signature status, further solidifying the IRF commitment to the anti-doping and clean sports movement.  As a Code signatore, the IRF will conduct both in-competition and out-of-competition testing, thereby confirming proper testing and results management methods are administered throughout our sport. With the support and guidance of GAISF, our WADA application is currently in process and we expect to become a Code signature in early 2021.  

As an athlete, it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that any medication you take or use is not on the prohibited list of substances

If you take any kind of medication, you will need to check the list of substances within the medication to see if any substance is on the prohibited list. Your doctor may be able to help you if they have prescribed the drug for you.

If you have any medication that is on the prohibited list you must have a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) prior to any doping control. If you can not show the doping control officer a TUE during the doping control you might receive a positive doping test.

The Prohibited List of Substances and Methods

The IRF will always adhere to the prohibited list published by WADA. The list of prohibited substances and methods is revised once a year. Updates are published each January.

Official Prohibited List can be accessed in PDF version here.

Digital Prohibited List (easy search) can be accessed here. If there is any discrepancy, the PDF version is noted as the official version.

The Prohibited List of Substances and Methods is divided into three categories:

  • Substances and methods prohibited at all times (in-and out of competition)
  • Substances and methods prohibited in competition
  • Substances prohibited in certain sports

Substances and methods prohibited at all times (in-and out of competition)

Prohibited Substances

S0 – Non approved substances

S1 – Anabolic agents

S2 – Peptide hormones, growth factors, related substances and mimetics

S3 – Beta-2 agonists

S4 – Hormone and metabolic modulators

S5 – Diuretics and masking agents

Prohibited Methods

M1 – Manipulation of blood and blood components

M2 – Chemical and physical manipulation

M3 – Gene and cell doping

Substances and methods prohibited in competition

In addition to the categories S0 to S5 and M1 to M3 defined above, the following categories are prohibited in competition:

S6 – Stimulants

S7 – Narcotics

S8 – Cannabinoids

S9 – Glucocorticoids

Substances prohibited in certain sports

P1 – Beta-blockers


Global DRO logoThe Global DRO website provides a simple and free to use checking service for medicines purchased in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Simply select the country of purchase, enter basic details of the medication and the search will provide details of whether the medication is banned or not. Each search is logged individually and you can take the reference number as evidence of the search for assistance should a false positive result be found.

The site is updated regularly following updates to the published prohibited items list.

Taking supplements is at each athlete’s own risk. This is especially true if it results in any positive doping test(s). Some dietary supplements and natural products can contain substances that are on the prohibited list.

Athletes are always personally responsible for any prohibited substances taken through dietary supplements and will be held responsible for a positive doping test. Even if this was never intended as deliberate doping, but as a result of contaminated supplements.

Some elite athletes may have a need for a supplement in relation to their diet. The reasons may be disease, physiological defects or extreme training volumes. We recommend you consult a dietician for good advice in relation to diet, and have your needs for supplements assessed.

There are numerous examples of dietary supplements purchased in countries all over the world that have been contaminated with prohibited substances. This includes substances that have not been included in the list of ingredients.

Additionally, supplements can be added to medicines in such large doses that they pose an actual health risk. Examples are:

  • stimulants with narcotic and addictive effects,
  • combinations of different stimulants that are dangerous to the heart,
  • sedatives which are not advisable in combination with driving, and
  • anabolic androgenic steroids, often in the form of prohormones.

Supplements may also be the entrance to the use of anabolic steroids. A study by Dodge and Jaccard (2006) has shown that the probability of using steroids is 26 times greater if you use supplements than if you train without supplements. Additionally, supplements often prove to be ineffective – especially if they are not used carefully.

Informed Sport logoThe Informed Sport website provides a simple and free to use checking service for supplements and vitamins.

Simply enter the brand or bar code in the site search to confirm whether or not it contains any prohibited items.

The site is updated regularly following updates to the published prohibited items list.

The IRF follows the WADA rules exemption for therapeutic use of a drug in accordance with the International Standard for TUE

Athletes who have been diagnosed and prescribed treatment with medication that contains substances on the Prohibited List must apply for a TUE before doping control.

Athletes need to contact their own National Rafting Federation and / or the National Anti Doping Organisation within their own country to obtain the correct TUE form.


Apply for TUE before competing

If you do not have a TUE for a substance that is listed on the prohibited substance list prior to testing, you will NOT be able to claim that you are permitted to take the specific drug. This will likely result in a positive doping test. It is not possible to get a TUE retrospectively. Therefore, you need a TUE before a potential doping control.

NOTE: the process handling time for a TUE can be 30 up to days.


TUE Checklists

TUE Checklists can be obtained on the WADA webiste. The checklists are used to guide the athlete and their physician on the overall requirements for a TUE application. Checklists must be accompanied by evidence that will allow the TUE application to be assessed whether the relevant International Standard for TUE Criteria are met.

The completed TUE checklist form alone is not sufficient; supporting documents MUST be provided. A completed application DOES NOT guarantee the granting of a TUE. Conversely, in some situations a legitimate application may not include every element on the checklist.


Further reading

Download the At a Glance – Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) leaflet produced by WADA

A doping control process is the same for all athletes regardless of the sport. If you are requested to take a doping control test, you have to follow the guidelines set out by WADA and the National Anti Doping Organisation who are administering the test(s).

The video below is the official WADA Doping Control Process for Athletes video:

The video is available on the WADA Website in other languages including Français, العربية, Hrvatski, Deutsch, Portuguese, Русский, Español.

Further reading

Download the At a Glance – The Doping Control Process leaflet produced by WADA

  • When do I need to complete a TUE application form?
    You need to get a TUE if you take or use any medications that are listed on the prohibited list of substances and methods. You must do this before competition starts. Allow up to 30 days for processing of the application.
  • How will I know if my medication suddenly gets banned?
    As an athlete it is your own responsibility to be updated in the type of medication you are taking
  • Do I need to fill out Whereabouts?
    Presently IRF Athletes do not need to fill out Whereabouts. If/when this is a requirement, all athletes will be informed with at least four weeks notice
  •  Is cannabis a banned substance?
    Yes. Cannabis is a banned substance during competition
  • Can I drink coffee during a competition?
    Yes. Caffeine was a banned substance between 1984-2004 but is now not included on the list

Recent Anti Doping news

External links are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the International Rafting Federation of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation, organisation or individual. The International Rafting Federation bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Please let us know about existing external links that you believe are inappropriate.