PRADO believes in the values that come from protecting clean sport. We protect clean athletes’ rights by detecting and deterring the use of banned performance-enhancing substances and methods. Our mission is to get athletes to believe in the values we try to instill, and not only live by them, but also promote them amongst their peers. PRADO, in our mission to promulgate these values, offers a wide range of resources and tools to help athletes understand their rights and uphold their responsibilities.
Are you competing in an event for the first time where there may be PRADO drug testing? Do you have basic questions about the drug testing process and don’t know where to start?
This section answers some of the most commonly asked questions for athletes new to drug testing.
Can I Be Tested?
PRADO can test and adjudicate anti-doping rule violations for any athlete who:
Is a member or a license holder of a Puerto Rico Olympic Committee (COI) recognized sport National Governing Body (NGB);
Is participating at an event or competition sanctioned by the COI or a COI-recognized sport NGB or participating at an event or competition in Puerto Rico sanctioned by an International Olympic Committee-recognized International Federation (IF) for sport; and
PRADO may also test and adjudicate athletes who meet the following criteria:
Is a foreign athlete who is present in Puerto Rico;
Has given his/her consent to testing by PRADO or who has submitted a Whereabouts filing to PRADO or an IF within the previous 12 months and has not given his/her NGB written notice of retirement;
Has been named by the COI or an NGB to an international team or who is included in a PRADO testing pool or is competing in a qualifying event to represent the COI or NGB in international competition;
Is a Puerto Rican athlete or foreign athlete present in Puerto Rico who is serving a period of ineligibility on account of an anti-doping rule violation and has not given prior written notice of retirement to his/her NGB and PRADO or the applicable foreign anti-doping agency or foreign sport association;
Is being tested by PRADO under authorization from the COI, an NGB, IF, any National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee, (IPC), or the organizing committee of any event or competition.
*Any athlete competing in a race that falls under an NGB’s jurisdiction or that has a short-term or long-term NGB license can be tested by PRADO. PRADO believes that all athletes, regardless of competition level, have the right to compete on a clean and level playing field.
Do I Need to Submit to Whereabouts?
Whereabouts information (dates, times, locations, etc.) is information submitted to PRADO by an athlete, which allows the athlete to be located for out-of-competition testing. Only athletes in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) or Clean Athlete Program (CAP), who have been personally and directly informed of their inclusion in the RTP or CAP, are required to submit Whereabouts. All other athletes are not. Whereabouts requirements are determined by RTP or CAP inclusion, not event participation.
What Substances are Banned?
As a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code, PRADO tests for substances and methods found on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List. It’s important that athletes are aware of the substances and methods on the Prohibited List. An athlete is responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body, regardless of intent.
It’s also important to understand that certain substances are prohibited at all times, while others are prohibited only during competition. In some cases, a substance is only prohibited in a certain sport.
How Do I Check the Status of a Medication?
Athletes need to be aware of the prohibited status of any medication they are taking, whether it be an over-the-counter or prescription medication. The easiest way to understand your medication is to use the Global DRO tool, where generic and name brand products, or specific medications, can be searched. Results will yield information including the in and out-of-competition status, any threshold information, as well as sport-specific information for those substances prohibited only in certain sports.
If and when a medication is prohibited, athletes may choose to stop taking or replace the medication with a non-prohibited substance or explore the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process.
Your health is the first priority. Any decision to stop or start a medication should be made in consultation with your medical provider.
Link: Global DRO tool
What if I Need a Prohibited Medication While Competing in Sport?
In some situations, an athlete may have an illnesses or condition that requires the use of substances or methods listed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List. A Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) provides permission for an athlete to have a prohibited substance in their body at the time of a drug test.
The process for obtaining a TUE is thorough and balances the need to allow athletes access to critical medication while upholding clean athletes’ rights to compete on a level playing field. In some cases, the TUE requirements are different for national-level athletes vs. non-national level athletes.
Athletes interested in obtaining a TUE should visit the Therapeutic Use Exemption page.
What Should I Know About the Sample Collection Process?
Athletes selected for testing are subject to both blood and urine testing. The processes are designed to be both effective in preserving the integrity of the sample, yet safe and comfortable for the athlete. Understanding the processes, as well as an athlete’s rights and responsibilities, can help to make testing less intimidating. There are additional considerations for minor athletes and disabled athletes.