The World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Executive Committee has approved the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods for 2010. The new List will now be officialized and published on WADA's Web site by October 1, 2009. It will take effect on January 1, 2010.
The Prohibited List is one of the cornerstones of the harmonized fight against doping. It specifies substances and methods prohibited in sport. Its implementation is mandatory for organizations that have adopted the World Anti-Doping Code.
"The annual revision of the List is an elaborate and dynamic process involving international scientific experts and the solicitation of input from stakeholders so that changes are founded on expanding anti-doping knowledge, evidence from the field, and constantly growing understanding of doping practices and trends," said WADA's President John Fahey.
"This process is highly consultative and WADA's role is one of facilitation. I am satisfied that, once again, the 2010 List reflects the latest scientific advances."
The development of the List begins with the circulation of a draft to stakeholders for comment. Comments received are considered by WADA's List Committee, who then presents its conclusions to WADA's Health, Medical and Research Committee.
The latter in turn submits its final recommendations to the Executive Committee, who discusses the recommendations and makes a final decision at its September meeting.
Change of Status for Salbutamol
The 2010 List offers a number of changes compared to the 2009 List. In particular, the status of salbutamol, a beta-2 agonist, will change. Salbutamol - a substance considered as specified and therefore more likely to result in a sanction of a warning to a two-year ban in case of anti-doping rule violations - will be permitted under 1,000 nanograms per millilitre.
Under the 2010 List, its use by inhalation will no longer require a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) but rather a simplified declaration of use. This measure will allow the handling of salbutamol by anti-doping organizations in a more cost-efficient way.
In addition, the 2010 List will no longer prohibit supplemental oxygen (hyperoxia). The status of platelet-derived preparations (e.g. Platelet Rich Plasma, "blood spinning") has also been clarified.
These preparations will be prohibited when administered by intramuscular route. Other routes of administration will require a declaration of use in compliance with the International Standard for TUEs.
Another noteworthy amendment is the reintroduction of pseudoephedrine to the List as a specified stimulant - a category of substances that is more likely to result in a sanction of a warning to a two-year ban in case of anti-doping rule violations.
Until 2003, pseudoephedrine was prohibited in sport. Pseudoephedrine was subsequently included in WADA's Monitoring Program in 2004. The Monitoring Program includes substances that are not prohibited in sport but are monitored in order to detect patterns of misuse.
Results of the Monitoring Program over the past five years have shown a sustained increase in samples containing pseudoephedrine concentrations of more than 75 milligrams per millilitre.
The Program indicated clear abuse of this substance with high concentrations in a number of sports and regions. In addition, available literature shows scientific evidence of the performance-enhancing effects of pseudoephedrine beyond certain doses.
Based on literature and results of controlled excretion studies funded by WADA, pseudoephedrine will therefore be reintroduced in the List starting on January 1, 2010, with a urinary threshold of 150 milligrams per millilitre.
Given the wide availability of medicines containing pseudoephedrine, WADA's Scientific Committees and Executive Committee recommended that the reintroduction of pseudoephedrine be accompanied by information and education campaigns by WADA's stakeholders.
New Scientific Research Projects
As is traditionally the case at its September meeting, WADA's Executive Committee approved scientific research projects for funding.
"Scientific research is one of WADA's key priorities," said John Fahey. "Our Research Grant Program allows us to enhance current detection means and to fund reactive research to ensure that quick response is made to new substances or methods that are being used by cheaters.
It also contributes to anticipating doping trends and developing detection means before new doping substances or methods are made available to athletes.
Our growing cooperation with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as drug agencies and evaluation bodies, is a good example of how we strive to stay ahead of drug cheats."
A record number of research proposals (88) were received this year from 22 countries, with 34 being selected for funding by WADA's Scientific Committees and Executive Committee.
These projects will help advance anti-doping research in such areas as the detection of blood manipulations, the development of new technologies of detection and the implementation of further means for detecting a number of substances and methods currently abused by athletes or potentially interesting to cheaters.
Project descriptions will be posted on WADA's Web site once the contracts have been signed.
Book on Ethical Issues
The Executive Committee approved a special book project to be commissioned by WADA as part of the Agency's tenth anniversary. This book - to be written by Dr Thomas Murray, President of the Hastings Center in Garrison, United States - will address the ethical issues surround doping and doping-free sport.
It will seek to advance knowledge in the field of social science and to provide an alternative vision of the future of sport based on ethical reasoning and an appreciation of the forces that shape elite sport.
WADA Tenth Anniversary
The next meetings of WADA's Executive Committee and Foundation Board will be held on December 1-2, 2009, in Stockholm, Sweden.
These meetings will be an opportunity for the Agency, which was founded on November 10, 1999, to mark its tenth anniversary.