In some instances, there may not be alternative medication or method to treat an illness or medical condition. TUEs ensure that the athlete is able to obtain the best treatment for a legitimate medical condition, even if treatment requires a prohibited substance or method. With the authorisation to consume the needed medication, it avoids the risk of sanctions if a positive test were to be detected.
All of the four following criteria must be met (for more details, please refer to the WADA International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) Article 4.2):
- The athlete has a clear diagnosed medical condition which requires treatment using a prohibited substance or method;
- The therapeutic use of the substance would not produce significant enhancement of performance beyond the athlete’s normal state of health;
- There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the prohibited substance or method; and
- The necessity to use that substance or method is not the consequence of the prior use (without a TUE), of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of use.