Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sport

Position Statement

The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) UK does not support the use of performance enhancing drugs (PED) in sport or the notion that PED could be given to athletes under medical supervision.  The FSEM (UK) supports and encourages healthy athletes to perform at the best of their abilities within the current rules.

The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process is the recognised (and regulated) way by which an athlete can obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition.

Athletes are regularly reminded by medical personnel of their obligation to abide by the anti-doping rules of their sport and that any medical treatment received must not violate these rules.

This is clearly outlined in paragraph 4.9 of the FSEM Professional Code: ‘Be aware of the national and international current regulations on anti-doping in sport. You should not assist, support or ignore practices, policies or procedures that enhance athletic performance and contravene the national or international doping regulations’.

The UK Anti-Doping website ( is an excellent and regularly updated resource for educating athletes, parents, coaches and medical staff involved in sport.

The British Medical Association (BMA) produced a book Drugs in sport: the pressure to perform, a guide for all doctors who are involved with the wellbeing of sports people.

©Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK – Performance Enhancing Drugs in Sport October 2016, to be reviewed October 2019.

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Position statements published by the FSEM (UK) are quick reference or information documents for the Sport and Exercise Medicine and healthcare community. They can include up to ten short points of clinical relevance and are designed to be useful short reference documents.

The FSEM (UK) will publish updates to its official position statements as and when new information is available. The current versions will appear on the website, including the date published, and will supersede and replace prior versions. FSEM UK does not circulate or endorse out of date versions of its position statements.

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