Tennis Ireland and Doping

Tennis Ireland condemns the use of prohibited substances or methods, a practice generally known as doping, in sport.  The rules of Tennis Ireland regarding doping are the Irish Anti-Doping Rules as adopted by Sport Ireland and which came into force on the 1st of June 2004, as amended from time to time.  The rules contained in the said Irish Anti-Doping Rules shall have effect and be construed as rules of Tennis Ireland. 

Tennis Ireland fully subscribes to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) procedures.  According to these, under the strict liability rule, athletes are responsible for any substance that may be found in their bodies.

It does not matter how the substance got there. If an athlete tests positive the result is a disqualification and possible sanction or suspension.

Who can be tested?

All Tennis Ireland players may be required to take testing for anti-doping. Your membership of Tennis Ireland commits you to agreeing to test and in the case of a Child (U/18) the prior written consent of the parent or guardian is required via the initial membership process at Club level, or at selection for competition or through competition entry forms.

All club personnel have a responsibility to ensure that club members are aware of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules and that there is an atmosphere supporting a drug free sport within the club. A complete copy of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules can be accessed here.

Once you join Tennis Ireland and enter a competition you are accepting the fact that you could be drug tested.  To reassure parents of younger graded players, the reality at the moment is that drug testing only occurs at national level events.  However, all parents should be aware of the possibility of players being tested and what regulations are in operation.

Are you taking medication to treat a medical condition?

Athletes should check their prescribed and over-the-counter medications to see if they are permitted for use by athletes.  If a medication is not permitted, the athlete may need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

Declaring Medications:

It is very important that you declare ALL MEDICATIONS taken within the last 14 days if you are drug tested. The Doping Control Officer will ask you to list all medications, supplements, etc. you have taken within the last two weeks on the Doping Control Form.

Where can I get more information?

Check out the following link for detailed information on the Sport Ireland website. Click here

  • Republic of Ireland: has a ‘Drugs in Sport Database’ where athletes can check prescribed and over-the-counter medications
  • Northern Ireland: has a Drugs in Sport Database where athletes can check prescribed and over-the-counter medications

For up to date information for athletes including information on what happens on a drug test, how to check your medications and Therapeutic Use Exemptions visit the Irish Sport Council Athlete Zone link as per below

Sport Ireland Athlete Zone

Sport Ireland Supplement Policy

Irish Anti Doping Rules 2015 

No matter what standard of player, it is imperative that you find out if you are allowed to take your medication while competing in a Tennis event.

The Tennis Anti-Doping Programme is managed and enforced by the ITF on behalf of the ATP, WTA and Grand Slams. The Programme applies to all players competing at the Grand Slam tournaments, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Hopman Cup, the Olympic Tennis event, the Paralympic Tennis event, other IOC-recognised International Events, WTA tournaments and WTA Finals and WTA Elite Trophy, ATP Tour tournaments and ATP Finals, Next Gen ATP Finals, ATP Challenger Tour tournaments, ITF Pro Circuit events, ITF World Tennis Tour events, ITF Juniors events, ITF Seniors events, ITF Wheelchair events, and ITF Beach Tennis Tour events.

For more information click here

Anti-Doping App

Tennis Players can now check more easily that their medicines will not result in an anti-doping violation. The ITF has launched an app which allows users to access Anti Doping information via their iPhone.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issues a List of Prohibited Substances and Methods that designates what is allowed in- and out-of-competition. The List also indicates whether particular substances are banned in certain sports. The app allows the user to check their prescribed and over-the-counter medications against the WADA Prohibited List.

The iPhone app is available free of charge from the Apple iTunes Store by searching for ITF Anti Doping
Download the app from the apple store.

What is inadvertent doping?

Inadvertent doping occurs when a player takes a medication to treat an injury or illness without realising that it contains a prohibited substance. It can also happen when an athlete takes a supplement that may contain impurities such as ingredients that are not listed on the label which could cause a positive test.

Players are responsible for checking the status of all substances and medications they consume – ignorance is no excuse.  Ultimately athletes are responsible for what they ingest.