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How Parents of Youth Athletes Can Navigate Anti-Doping Rules and Medications

As the parent of a youth athlete who is a member of a National Governing Body (NGB) of Sport, you may have heard about anti-doping, or the processes that help keep sport clean, fair, and healthy at every level of competition. Did you also know that every member of an NGB is subject to anti-doping testing?

Not all sports organizations are NGBs, but if your son or daughter is a member of, or competes in events hosted by, a sport that has signed the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, then he or she is subject to anti-doping rules and might be drug tested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) or another organization.

For many parents of youth athletes subject to anti-doping rules, a common question is whether their athlete can continue using prescribed medications due to the WADA Prohibited List. Concerned parents might even have their kids stop taking prescribed medications in case the use could lead to a positive test and sanction.

While it’s important to take anti-doping rules seriously, keep in mind that there are systems in place to ensure that athletes of all ages can use medications that simply return them to a normal level of health. Here are the steps parents should take to make sure their young athlete can both use necessary medications and adhere to anti-doping rules.

1. Search

First, parents should search the medication on, which identifies if a medication or ingredient purchased in the United States or another participating country is prohibited. You can search both the brand and the active ingredients.

If the results say the medication is not prohibited, then it can be used in sport without any restrictions. If the results say conditional, then you should read the text in the “additional information” box to determine whether your youth athlete’s use of the medication falls within the allowable guidelines.

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