USADA Coach's Advantage Videos

As some of the most influential people in athletes’ lives, coaches can play a powerful role in keeping sport clean by helping athletes understand and act upon their anti-doping responsibilities. These Coach’s Advantage videos cover the latest anti-doping information.


As you complete this course, keep in mind that USADA is a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code, or the Code. The Code, and a number of international standards, help ensure athletes around the world follow the same rules and are held to the same standards. The Code requires coaches and other athlete support personnel to: be knowledgeable about and comply with all anti-doping policies and rules; cooperate with the athlete testing program; use their influence on athlete values and behavior to foster anti-doping attitudes; disclose any anti-doping rule violations or ADRVs they have received within the past ten years to USADA and their International Federation; cooperate in any ADRV investigation; and not use or possess any prohibited substance or method without valid justification.

Our hope is that by the end of this course you:

• utilize anti-doping resources to help athletes make educated decisions about substances, methods, and supplements
• understand the rights and responsibilities that you and your athletes are to uphold
• become an informed advocate for clean sport

  • Transcript

     [Welcome to USADA’s Coach’s Advantage! As a coach or other athlete support person, you play one of the most vital roles in an athlete’s life. You have the opportunity to shape not only victories but values- and with that comes immense responsibility, which is why we created this course. The Coach’s Advantage will provide you with the relevant tools to guide and support athletes along their athletic journey and beyond. This course should take less than 45 minutes to complete and will cover information critical to your success as an athlete support person, including categories of prohibited substances and methods, how to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption, the process for collecting urine and blood samples, the results management process, and how to utilize the Play Clean Tip Center to report suspected violations. As an athlete support person, we want you to feel confident and prepared to uphold the anti-doping rules, promote clean sport, and support your athletes with their anti-doping responsibilities.]

Prohibited List and TUEs

The WADA Prohibited List is one of the most important parts of the global anti-doping movement. The List identifies substances and methods prohibited in sport and is reviewed and updated annually by WADA. A substance or method is included on the WADA Prohibited List if it meets at least two of the following three criteria:

  1. It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance,
  2. It represents an actual or potential health risk to the athlete, or
  3. It violates the spirit of sport.

By the conclusion of this section, you will be able to help athletes:

  • utilize resources to identify methods and substances prohibited at all times, as well as those only prohibited in-competition or in a particular sport
  • understand the process for filing a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), if necessary
  • embrace their responsibility to research the status of prescriptions or over-the-counter medications or ingredients listed on a drug facts label
  • recognize the teamwork it takes to reach athletic dreams and help educate that team about the Prohibited List
  • Transcript

    [The most common question USADA receives from an athlete is “Can I use this medication or substance in my sport?” In order to answer this question, the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA, established a Prohibited List that requires athletes around the world to follow the same rules regarding substances and methods prohibited in sport. The only exception is if an athlete has applied for and been granted an approved Therapeutic Use Exemption, or a TUE, which we will discuss later in this section.

    Any athlete member of a National Governing Body, or NGB, is subject to testing. As athletes subject to testing, they are responsible for what goes into their body. It is important that athletes research substances before they use them because they never know when they will be tested. Before any substance enters an athlete’s  body through their mouth, eyes, nose, ears, or even through their skin via topical use or  injection, know that they are held strictly liable, which means they are responsible for what’s in their system, regardless of their intent.

    Each year in early October, WADA releases a revised Prohibited List to allow time to educate all stakeholders on the changes that take effect January 1st of the following year. Broken down into categories, the Prohibited List identifies which substances and methods are prohibited at all times, in-competition only, or in some cases, only in particular sports.

    As the name suggests, in-competition testing is generally conducted during or following an event. The standard definition for “in-competition” is the period commencing at 11:59 p.m. on the day before the competition in which the athlete is scheduled to participate through the end of the competition and the sample collection process related to the competition.


    On the other hand, out-of-competition testing is defined as testing at all other times, such as at an athlete’s home or training location.


    Some examples of substances prohibited at all times are:

    • Anabolic steroids, such as testosterone
    • Insulin
    • Erythropoietin or EPO
    • Diuretics and masking agents, like Spironolactone or blood pressure medication and
    • Growth Hormone or peptides

    All methods are prohibited at all times. Some examples of prohibited methods include:

    • All intravenous infusions, also known as IVs, in amounts of more than 100mL in a 12-hour period, unless they are received in the course of hospital treatment, clinical diagnostic investigations, or surgical procedures
      • If a prohibited substance is administered intravenously or via injection, a TUE is necessary for this substance regardless of whether the infusion or injection is less than 100mL.
        • Blood transfusions and plasma donations and
        • All forms of gene doping


    There are certain substances that are prohibited only in-competition, such as:


    • Stimulants, including amphetamines used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and pseudoephedrine, commonly found in cough, cold, and flu medications
    • Narcotics and related painkillers
    • Marijuana, including both natural and synthetic cannabis-like compounds and
    • Corticosteroids


    It is also important to understand that there are substances prohibited in particular sports. For example, beta-blockers used to control heart rate are prohibited in sports such as shooting, archery, and golf, because they could enhance aim in these sports.


    Athletes and support personnel can find information about the prohibited status of specific medications by using a trusted resource called Global Drug Reference Online, known as Global DRO. Athletes and support personnel utilizing this resource will be able to identify if brand name medications or active ingredients are prohibited in competition, at all times, or in specific sports, and if they are subject to conditions of use. There are some substances that are identified as conditional, which means that daily use limits exist for these substances. The absorption and excretion of substances can depend on an individual’s metabolism, body fat, and even age; because of the multitude of factors, USADA is unable to predict threshold information and clearance times of substances.


    Know that if athletes are taking any medication, they should check the status by using Global Drug Reference Online at If they cannot find a result for their search term on, that does NOT mean that it is permitted in sport and additional investigation must be undertaken, including contacting USADA. As a coach or athlete support person, you should stress to your athletes the importance of regularly checking the status of their medications. Even if something was approved in the past, its formulation may have changed, or one of its ingredients may have been added to the Prohibited List. does not contain information on, or applicable to, dietary supplements, but we’ll talk more about those in another section.


    Remember, it isn’t enough for athletes to ask peers or a team doctor about what is prohibited. In all circumstances, an athlete must do their own due diligence, as they are personally responsible for what’s in their body at all times. If an athlete still has questions after their search, contact USADA’s Drug Reference Team at 719-785-2000, option 2, or email


    There may be times in an athlete’s career when they need to take a medication. Whether they are visiting their physician or selecting an over-the-counter cold medication at a local drug store, it is very important that an athlete know if the substances going into their body are prohibited in sport. Remember, a doctor’s prescription alone does not give an athlete permission to use a prohibited substance or method under the anti-doping rules.


    If, after checking a substance at, an athlete finds that the medication is prohibited and they have a legitimate medical need to take it, the athlete should apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption, or TUE. Having a TUE allows an athlete to meet their medical needs while still following the anti-doping rules.


    To apply for a TUE, an athlete must submit the appropriate TUE application form along with supporting medical documentation, such as lab results, a current letter from a specialist, clinical background, and/or a diagnosis, in advance of the intended use of the prohibited substance or method. USADA makes best efforts to process TUE applications as quickly as possible; however, it can take up to 21 days to process, therefore USADA recommends an athlete submit a TUE application at least 30 days in advance. All TUE applications are evaluated in accordance with the WADA International Standards for TUEs, or ISTUE, and are reviewed by an independent TUE Committee. The most common reason for a delay in processing TUE applications is insufficient supporting documentation. The TUE Committee needs enough medical documentation to come to the same clinical diagnosis and treatment plan as the prescribing physician, without ever seeing the athlete in person.


    If an athlete’s TUE is approved, they will receive a certificate with an expiration date. The athlete should inform USADA immediately if their medical condition changes or if the dose or frequency of the medication changes.


    A TUE may be granted for medications and methods if the use meets certain criteria, including the following:

    • The Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method in question is needed to treat a diagnosed medical condition supported by relevant clinical evidence.
    • The Therapeutic Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method will not, on the balance of probabilities, produce any additional enhancement of performance beyond what might be anticipated by a return to the Athlete’s normal state of health following the treatment of the medical condition.
    • The Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method is an indicated treatment for the medical condition, and there is no reasonable permitted Therapeutic alternative.
    • The necessity for the Use of the Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method is not a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior Use of a substance or method, without a TUE, which was prohibited at the time of such Use.


    In the case a medical emergency that requires the administration of a prohibited substance or method, the athlete’s health and well-being should remain the top priority. Critical medical treatment should not be withheld. Once the emergency is over, the athlete should contact USADA as soon as possible to determine if a retroactive TUE application is necessary.


    Every medical decision should be made in consultation with an athlete’s physician, who should be a knowledgeable advocate and assist them in their goal to compete clean. However, it is the athlete’s responsibility to make their doctor aware of their status as an elite athlete. USADA cannot provide medical advice but stands ready to answer questions from the athlete and their physician regarding the Prohibited List and the TUE process.


    Remember, the use of a prohibited substance or method in sport without a TUE, even if medically justified, can result in an anti-doping rule violation. Strict liability applies, so if an athlete uses a prohibited substance without prior approval, the athlete will be held responsible. For more information about TUEs and the application process, visit


    Section summary:

    • WADA publishes an annual list of prohibited substances and methods. All athletes are held accountable to the standards set by WADA.
    • There are specific methods or substances prohibited from sport (in and out-of-competition) and even sport-specific substance bans.
    • Athletes are held strictly liable for anything ingested via mouth, eyes, nose, ears, or even through the skin.
    • Check on the prohibited or permitted status of substances and ingredients on
    • does not contain information on, or applicable to, dietary supplements.
    • If a substance is on the prohibited list and you need it, obtain a TUE prior to using the substance.
    • The TUE must be submitted and accepted 30 days before using the substance.]


Dietary Supplements & CBD

The supplement industry and the Cannabinoid, or CBD, markets are not regulated in the same way as medications, which means any given product – even common vitamins and natural salves – does not need pre-market approval for safety or efficacy before being sold, and therefore, can present a risk for athletes. While there are ways to reduce this risk, please know that USADA does not recommend or approve the use of any supplement or CBD product.

By the conclusion of this section, you will be able to:

  • understand impacts and risks of the CBD and supplement industries
  • utilize resources to make educated decisions that support the personal health of your athletes
  • recognize athletes are responsible for what goes into their body
  • Transcript

    [Wonder why the sugary, colorful, kid-appealing cereals are located on the lower shelves in the grocery store? So that kids can see and grab the product easier- a result of intentional placement by cereal companies. Ever notice the sponsored advertisements on your devices are based on previous searches you’ve performed? A strategic marketing ploy implemented by companies. Many supplement companies are no different. They rely heavily on being able to target individuals they believe would “benefit” from using their supplement product. You have probably seen the transformative before and after pictures. You may even know someone who has seen personal results. But at what cost?

     We understand that athletes put their body through rigorous training and that they want the best nutrition and products to help fuel their performance. However, unlike prescription drugs, the dietary supplement and CBD industries are not required to comply with good manufacturing practices or undergo quality control testing. Dietary supplements and CBD products are not evaluated or approved by the FDA before they are sold. It is also important to realize that contaminated products make it to store shelves on a regular basis. Intentional or accidental ingestion of contaminated substances can be harmful to both an athlete’s health and career, which is why experts suggest a food-first approach for nourishment and recovery rather than relying on dietary supplements.

     Be aware of the following facts regarding the dietary supplement industry:

    1. Supplements are not evaluated or approved by the FDA before they are sold; therefore, the laws and regulations may not protect you from dangerous supplements.
    2. Some supplement companies buy impure or contaminated raw ingredients from suppliers.
    3. Some supplement companies do things wrong without realizing it, such as labeling their products incorrectly, making illegal advertising claims, manufacturing their products with the wrong ingredients or the wrong dosages, accidentally buying adulterated ingredients, or including illegal or novel ingredients.
    4. Some supplement companies deliberately spike their products with performance-enhancing drugs. It’s very difficult to remove dangerous products from store shelves.


    Help athletes recognize ways to reduce their risk of testing positive or experiencing an adverse health effect from supplements by paying attention to red flags, such as:

    • prohibited substances on labels or in advertising
    • extreme, exaggerated, false, illegal, or performance-enhancing claims
    • where the “clinical studies” don’t really support the advertising claims, and
    • illegitimate endorsements.

     To minimize risks associated with taking dietary supplements, USADA recommends that an athlete adopt a food-first approach to nutrition. We recognize that navigating healthy options can be challenging, so we have created a Supplement Guide and a Nutrition Guide; links to these resources will be provided at the end of the tutorial.

     If an athlete chooses to use supplements despite the known risks, USADA recommends that athletes use only dietary supplements that have been certified by a third-party program that tests for substances prohibited in sport. Third-party certification should also include an audit of the manufacturing process, an evaluation of the product’s quality, and an evaluation of labeling to ensure it is accurate and compliant with regulations.

     USADA currently recognizes NSF Certified for Sport® as the certification program best suited for athletes to reduce the risk from supplements. Using an NSF Certified for Sport® product significantly reduces, but does not necessarily eliminate, the chance for testing positive and being sanctioned. Under the rules, if an athlete tests positive and establishes the source as a contaminated NSF Certified for Sport® product, the athlete could receive a reduced sanction, but there likely would still be a consequence.

     NSF Certified for Sport® products are recognized by the Certified for Sport label and should be verified by checking on the NSF Certified for Sport® website or the mobile application.

     As always, it is important for athletes to review for red flag warnings, reference the High-Risk List for products that USADA has found to contain prohibited substances, and search the prohibited status of supplement ingredients on


    Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, widely marketed to athletes for claimed effects such as decreased anxiety, anti-inflammatory properties, relief of pain, and for post-exercise recovery. It is the only cannabinoid permitted in sport. Consumers’ interest in CBD has increased considerably since 2015 and is still accelerating. Preclinical studies suggest that CBD could be useful to athletes; however, almost no clinical data are available on CBD in the context of exercise, which makes its use in this context unscientific and premature. The safety of the long-term use of CBD is understudied and there are indications of some adverse effects, including liver toxicity and negative impact on male fertility.

    Similar to dietary supplements, CBD products are regulated and monitored by the FDA differently than medications. It’s important to realize that while CBD products may claim to be “THC free,” they may still contain prohibited cannabinoids, such as the psychoactive cannabinoid THC, which is prohibited in-competition.

     When choosing to use a substance out-of-competition that is prohibited only in-competition, athletes should be aware that a complete washout of those substances and their metabolites cannot be easily predicted.  For example, Cannabinoids are known to accumulate in body fat, increasing the time they are excreted into the urine. 

     Remember, before any substance enters an athlete’s mouth, eyes, nose, ears, and even through the skin via topical use or an injection, know that they are strictly liable for those substances.

     Text summary:

    • Reduce an athlete’s risk by purchasing third-party certified products.
    • USADA encourages a food-first approach to performance and recovery.
    • If dietary supplements and/or CBD are used, be aware of the health risks and risk of a positive anti-doping test.
    • Refer to Supplement Connect, the Supplement Guide, and the Nutrition Guide resources to identify risks and more suitable alternatives.]


Some athletes are required to be in a USADA Testing Pool. These athletes are required to provide personal information, referred to as Whereabouts. Providing Whereabouts for no-notice testing is an effective means to deter doping across sports and allows DCOs to locate an athlete for testing at any time.

By the conclusion of this section, you will be able to:

  • understand an athlete’s responsibility in filing Whereabouts
  • recognize the consequences for athletes who do not meet filing requirements
  • support and remind athletes to update their Whereabouts as their schedule changes
  • Transcript

    [An important part of USADA’s testing program is the ability to test athletes without advance notice in an out-of-competition setting. To maximize testing resources and minimize the burden on athletes, USADA has created a Registered Testing Pool, or RTP, and a Clean Athlete Program, or CAP. Athletes in the RTP and CAP are subject to different Whereabouts requirements and compliance criteria that can be found in USADA’s Whereabouts policy. Whereabouts information, including dates, times, and locations, is data submitted to USADA by an athlete and allows the athlete to be located for out-of-competition testing. Overall, know that even if an athlete provides Whereabouts information, they are subject to testing 365 days a year, with no “off-seasons” or cutoff periods during which testing does not occur.

    If an athlete is included in the USADA RTP or CAP and are required to submit Whereabouts information, they will be notified by USADA. As outlined in the World Anti-Doping Code, the International Standards for Testing & Investigations, and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee National Anti-Doping Policy, elite athletes who have been identified and notified that they are part of the USADA RTP or CAP are responsible for keeping USADA informed of their Whereabouts. Athletes who have not been notified of their responsibility to submit Whereabouts information are not required to submit any Whereabouts information to USADA, although they can still be tested out-of-competition by USADA.
    Athletes in the RTP and CAP are required to submit their Whereabouts information four times a year- March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15 ahead of the upcoming quarter. For a CAP athlete, failure to provide accurate Whereabouts can result in them being moved into the RTP. For RTP athletes,failure to provide accurate or complete Whereabouts can result in a Whereabouts Failure. All Whereabouts Failures issued by USADA will be shared via email with the athlete and a secondary contact chosen by the athlete. Any combination of three Whereabouts Failures that are declared by USADA, WADA, or an IF, within a 12-month period could result in an anti-doping rule violation and a minimum one-year sanction.

    As a coach, you can support your athletes by encouraging them to accurately file, and then update, their Whereabouts, especially when their schedule has changed.

    USADA continues to work hard to ensure the Whereabouts requirements align with the amount of out-of-competition testing and the burden on athletes, which is why we recently created an additional pool for athlete inclusion. USADA’s Education Pool, or EP, requires athletes to complete anti-doping education annually and confirm that their personal information is accurate at all times. This information includes name, date of birth, phone number, email, and mailing address. Athletes in the Education Pool are not required to submit Whereabouts information to USADA and are not subject to Whereabouts Failures even though they are in a pool. Overall, if an athlete in the EP does not maintain the pool requirements, they will be moved to the CAP, which does require athletes to file Whereabouts, for a minimum of 12 months.

    For more information about the testing programs, Whereabouts requirements, or athlete pool inclusions, please visit

    Text Summary:

    • USADA has created a Registered Testing Pool (RTP), a Clean Athlete Program (CAP), and an Education Pool (EP) to minimize the burden on athletes and maximize testing resources
    Whereabouts information (which includes dates, times, and locations/addresses provided by the athlete) allows a DCO to locate an athlete for out-of-competition testing without any advance notice.
    • There are consequences for not filing or not updating Whereabouts information
    o CAP athletes may be moved to RTP, which has more rigorous requirements and compliance consequences.
    o RTP athletes will be subject to Whereabouts Failures – Three Whereabouts Failures (Filing Failure and/or Missed Test) in a 12-month period constitutes an anti-doping rule violation.

Testing and Results Management

If your athletes want to be the best at something, they dedicate long hours and hard work to their craft, but that is not always enough. Whether they are receiving suggestions on their form from coaches, nutritional alterations from the team dietitian, or modifications on personal habits from their teammates, they value the input from those who have their best interests in mind. The testing and results management component of anti-doping is also a form of evaluation on an athlete’s performance. Your athletes compete clean; therefore, their results are clean. If an athlete doesn’t compete clean, there are specific processes and consequences in place under the USADA Protocol and World Anti-Doping Code.

When it comes to the drug testing process, protecting athletes and the integrity of the sample are two of USADA’s top priorities. We work hard to maintain the most strategic testing plan and ensure that the testing processes are completed in a professional manner and adhere to all requirements under the Code and International Standards of Testing and Investigations. USADA also ensures that the results management process is rigorous and as fair as possible for all athletes.

In this section, we will share the details of the testing and results management processes to ensure you are prepared to help your athletes feel confident and protected throughout USADA’s anti-doping practices.

By the conclusion of this section, you will be able to

  • Be familiar with the sample collection, testing, and results management processes
  • Understand athlete and support personnel’s rights and responsibilities within the testing process
  • Be a knowledgeable representative for your athlete during the sample collection process

Coaches and support personnel can support their athlete during the collection process by asking questions or acting as a representative for the athlete. Watch this sample collection video to learn more about the steps of the sample collection process to see how you can help your athlete.

  • Transcript

    [USADA is committed to making sport safe, fair, and authentic at all levels of competition through independent and comprehensive anti-doping programs.  One key component of a successful anti-doping program is strategic drug testing in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code. USADA’s gold standard testing program utilizes in-competition testing and out-of-competition testing, which can occur at any time and any location. Athletes selected for testing may be required to provide urine, blood, or both. This applies to U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes, international and master's level athletes, and junior athletes.


     When a doping control officer, or DCO, notifies athletes that they have been selected for testing, the DCO must show the athlete their credential. If the DCO is not the same gender as the athlete, they will be accompanied by a chaperone of the athlete’s gender who can supervise the provision of the sample. The athlete is then required to produce identification and stay within direct view of the DCO or chaperone until the test is concluded.


     Athletes are required to report immediately to an out-of-competition location or to the in-competition doping control station, unless the DCO approves a valid reason for delay such as cooling down, attending a medal ceremony, fulfilling a media commitment, or receiving medical attention.Athletes do have the right to have a representative present.


     For urine samples, minor athletes are also encouraged to have a third-party present in the toilet area where they can monitor the DCO or chaperone during the provision of the sample. Athletes with disabilities have the right to request necessary modifications to the testing process.


     All athletes are asked to provide a sample of at least 90 milliliters of urine under the direct observation of a DCO or witnessing chaperone. If 90 mL are not immediately available, athletes will store the partial sample in a secure vault and use another collection cup to secure the remaining sample when ready. After staying in view of the chaperone and then providing a full sample, athletes will be offered a choice of sealed sample collection equipment that contain two security bottles marked A and B. They should inspect the equipment prior to use and the DCO should instruct the athlete to ensure that the alpha numeric code on the bottles match and correspond to the barcode on the outside of the box. This is critical since the athlete’s name will not appear on the documentation sent to the lab to ensure anonymity.


     Athletes will then divide their sample between the A and B sample bottles, secure the bottles, and seal them for shipping. Athletes are to maintain direct observation and control of their sample until it’s sealed.


     A sample collection session may include a blood collection. Some USADA DCOs will be licensed or certified phlebotomists, but if they are not, a certified and/or licensed phlebotomist, called a blood collection officer, or BCO, will perform the blood draw. Athletes are asked to stay seated for a period of time before blood is drawn. Less than two tablespoons of blood is needed for testing, which should not affect athletic performance. Complications from a blood draw are rare but can include fainting, dizziness, bruising at the puncture site (or hematoma), nerve injury, and arterial puncture or laceration. Site reactions such as bruising or swelling can be minimized by applying pressure to the collection site for at least five minutes, avoiding strenuous exercise for at least thirty minutes, and keeping the bandage on for at least two hours. If you have ever experienced complications from a past blood draw, please bring them to the attention of the USADA DCO before the blood draw begins.


     After securing the sample, the DCO will review the doping control official record or DCOR with an athlete, at which time they will declare their use of any medications, supplements, or treatments, before signing the DCOR. Athletes are encouraged to discuss any concerns with a DCO and to provide feedback to USADA.


     Once the sample is collected, the DCO will then securely ship the sample to a WADA-accredited laboratory to be analyzed.


     USADA also uses the sample for the Athlete Biological Passport, or ABP. This resource is used to fight against prohibited drugs in sport and promote clean competition. USADA utilizes the ABP as an important tool for the long-term monitoring of an athlete’s biological data in both blood and urine, as well as the monitoring of potential markers that indicate doping.


     The final step is to receive the results from the tested sample. The results are sent to USADA and USADA will then provide notification of the test results to the athlete via email. The results letter will also be available through the athlete’s online account. In general, athletes will receive their test results in six to eight weeks.


     Most athletes never have to worry about the results of their test because they are competing clean and following the rules. However, if an athlete does test positive or is charged with an anti-doping rule violation, there is a full and fair legal process available to the athlete prior to a sanction being announced.


     If the sample comes back as negative, there were no traces of prohibited substances or methods present.


     If the sample comes back as positive, there was an Adverse Analytical Finding. When the athlete’s ”A” sample has returned a positive result and the athlete requests that their “B” sample be tested, the athlete will have the opportunity to be present for the ”B” sample opening. If the “B” sample confirms the Adverse Analytical Finding, the athlete can choose to accept the resulting sanction or if desired, the athlete can request an independent arbitration hearing where the case will be heard, and a decision rendered.


     If you have questions while navigating the results management process, the USOPC employs an Athlete Ombuds who provides free information to athletes concerning their rights. The USOPC Athlete Ombuds can be reached by calling (719)-866-5000 or by email at


     USADA’s testing is based on intentional planning and the evaluation of many factors. However, no athlete should ever know when or where they will be asked to provide a sample.


     How are athletes selected for testing?


    There are a variety of reasons why an athlete might be selected for testing, including, but not limited to:


    • the physical demands of the sport
    • the benefit an athlete would receive from doping
    • the history of doping in the sport and/or discipline
    • Play Clean Tip Center tips
    • previous test history and/or Athlete Biological Passport results and/or
    • athlete performance


    One of the ways you can support your athletes when they are selected for doping control is to be an advocate for them throughout the process. As a support person, you should be knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities. Here are just a few:




    • Having a representative present throughout the doping control process
    • Having a language interpreter present, if available
    • Having the testing procedures explained, including how the sample collection equipment works
    • Requesting to view the DCO's credentials
    • Having a choice of an individual collection vessel and sample collection kit and verify that the equipment is intact and has not been tampered with
    • Receiving a copy of all forms used to document the processing of your sample
    • Providing written feedback on USADA's Athlete Evaluation Form and/or Supplementary Report Form
    • Requesting a delay in reporting to the doping control station for valid reasons. Valid reasons are: a medal ceremony, media commitments, medical obligation, arming/cooling down, or competing in further events. Regardless of the reason for your request for delay, a DCO may reject it at any time if it will violate the integrity of the testing process. Please know that refusing to submit to doping control can lead to an anti-doping rule violation, public announcement, and a possible four-year period of ineligibility.
    • Requesting modifications if you have a disability or impairment or are a minor




    • Complying with the sample collection procedure**
    • Reporting immediately to the doping control station unless there are valid reasons for delay (in-competition testing)
    • Bringing a photo ID to the doping control station
    • Staying in direct observation of the DCO or chaperone from the time of notification until the sample collection session is complete
    • Keeping the collection vessel and sample in their possession and in view of the DCO or chaperone at all times, until it is sealed in a sample collection kit (unless partial sample and then should follow partial sample protocol)
    • Having control of the sample until it is sealed in collection bottles (the DCO may assist the athlete)
    • Ensuring the sample code number is correctly documented on the doping control official record
    • Ensuring all appropriate paperwork is accurate, complete, and signed




    **NOTE: As defined by the Code: “Evading Sample collection; or refusing or failing to submit to Sample collection without compelling justification after notification by a duly authorized Person”, is an anti-doping rule violation.




    Text summary:


    • Testing methods include blood, urine or both.
      • If an individual is under the age of 18, they should have a representative with them.
    • A test may be delayed in the following circumstances: a medal ceremony, media commitments, medical obligation, warming up/cooling down, or competing in further events.
    • A WADA-accredited lab will perform analysis and reporting.
    • If desired, the athlete can request an arbitration hearing where the case will be heard before an independent arbitrator that will render a decision.]



ADRV and Sanctions

As a coach or support person, it is particularly important to understand the rules regarding anti-doping rule violations, or ADRVs, and that athletes are not the only individuals who may be held accountable for an ADRV. In this section, we are going to elaborate on ADRVs and sanctions.

Under the Code, anyone who is found to have intentionally committed an ADRV could receive a sanction ranging from four years, up to a lifetime period of ineligibility. When facing a sanction, there is the possibility that an athlete can avoid or reduce their period of ineligibility if the athlete can demonstrate that the violation was unintentional or that he or she was not at fault or significant fault.

For example, per the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, if an athlete can establish that the use of a substance of abuse was out-of-competition and unrelated to sport performance, then the use will not be considered “intentional” for purposes of the four-year period of ineligibility, but rather ineligibility is a flat three months with no need to further analyze the degree of fault.

If an athlete, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, please reach out to the National Helpline by clicking here or calling the confidential Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If a sanction is issued, it is understood that there was a violation of the World Anti-Doping Code, the athlete’s International Federation rules, and/or the United States Olympic & Paralympic Anti-Doping Policy. There are many potential repercussions from a sanction, including:

  • Inability to compete or participate in any capacity in activities sanctioned by any Code signatory for a period of time
  • Loss of competition or event results
  • A warning or public announcement
  • Monetary fines
  • Forfeiture of any medals, monies, points, and prizes
  • Team disqualification and forfeiture loss of benefits, grants, awards, employment
  • Inability to use training facilities provided by the USOPC

 By the conclusion of this section, you will be able to:

  • Understand the 11 ways an athlete can commit an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) under the Code
  • Identify consequences for various rule violations
  • Recognize that USADA respects athlete’s rights, the integrity it takes to be a clean athlete, and the courage it takes to report doping
  • Transcript

    [There are set rules, laws, and expectations for most aspects of everyday living. Commonly, when those rules are broken, there are consequences. Speeding on the highway results in a speeding ticket. Not brushing your teeth, results in a cavity. Taking shortcuts in sport results in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation or ADRV. Under the World Anti-Doping Code, there is a very clear list of 11 ADRVs:

    1. The presence of a prohibited substance or its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s sample. Or simply put – a positive test.
    2. Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method.
    3. Evading, refusing, or failing to submit to sample collection without compelling justification after being notified by an authorized person.
    4. Violation of applicable requirements regarding athlete availability for out-of-competition testing. Any combination of three missed tests and/or Whereabouts filing failures within a 12-month period as determined by anti-doping organizations with jurisdiction over the athlete shall constitute an anti-doping rule violation.
    5. Tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control. For example, procuring false testimony from witnesses, or falsifying documents submitted to an anti-doping organization.
    6. Possession of prohibited substances or prohibited methods.
    7. Trafficking or attempted trafficking of any prohibited substance or prohibited method.
    8. Administration or attempted administration of any prohibited substance or prohibited method, to any athlete in-competition or out of competition.
    9. Complicity or attempted complicity. Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, conspiring, covering up or any other type of intentional complicity involving an anti-doping rule violation, attempted anti-doping rule violation, or a violation of a period of ineligibility by another person.
    10. Associating with coaches, trainers, physicians, or other athlete support personnel who are sanctioned, criminally convicted, and/or professionally disciplined in relation to doping. Some examples of assistance include obtaining training, nutrition, or medical advice, and/or allowing the individual to serve as an agent or representative. To establish a violation, the anti-doping organization must establish the athlete knew of the athlete support person’s disqualifying status. The anti-doping organization may, but is not required to, provide notice to the athlete of a support person’s disqualifying status prior to initiating a case.
    11. To threaten, intimidate, or discourage a person from the good faith reporting of information relating to an ADRV, non-compliance with the Code, or other doping activity, are all considered violations, as well as retaliation against another person for doing so.

    Your knowledge and assistance are vital to helping us to keep your sport clean which is why you can safely and confidentially provide doping tips to our play clean tip center. Also, remember under the 2021 Code, any discouragement or retaliation against those who report doping to authorities could result in an anti-doping rule violation, making it safer than ever for athletes to report doping. To report tips, please email or call 1-877-752-9253. You can also use the shortcode USADA, or 87232 to text tips. With this system, your information including your phone number will remain anonymous to USADA.


    Remember, USADA can perform a test on any athlete, even if they are foreign but present in the United States. Your hard work means a great deal to your team, the country standing behind you, and your career. USADA supports you and your fellow clean athletes. More information on the Play Clean Tip Center can be found at the conclusion of this course in the resource guide. 

     Text summary:

    • Under 2021 Code changes, an 11th ADRV was added to further protect whistleblowers.
    • Of the 11 anti-doping rule violations under the World Anti-Doping Code, only one exclusively relates to a positive test.
    • Use the Play Clean Tip Center to report doping or potential doping.]



Congratulations! You have successfully completed the Coach’s Advantage tutorial!

As you know, paying attention to this annual education can make all the difference and we thank you for your time. We hope you feel more confident about USADA’s processes and supported by our mission to protect clean athletes. If you have any questions, please feel free to connect with USADA's education team through email at

  • Transcript

    [We hope you found the Coach's Advantage Tutorial to be useful and informative, and that you'll use the knowledge and tools provided to help your athletes achieve their goals the right and clean way. Remember, your influence transcends the sport—it shapes character, integrity, and the future of true sport for all. Armed with the knowledge and tools gained within the Coach’s Advantage tutorial, we hope you feel empowered and committed to guiding athletes toward excellence.

    As always, thank you for your investment and continued commitment to clean sport.


2024 Coach’s Advantage Resource Guide

Throughout the 2024 Coach’s Advantage tutorial, helpful information and resources were shared. USADA wants you to feel knowledgeable of your rights and responsibilities and has compiled a resource guide with information critical to your success as a coach or support person. If you have any questions after viewing the tutorial or this resource, please connect with USADA Education team by email at

2024 Athlete’s Advantage Tutorial Topics


Additional Resources

  • Find information about the prohibited status of specific brand name medications or active ingredients that are prohibited in competition, at all times, or in specific sports, and if they are subject to conditions of use.
  • If you or your athletes have questions after your com search, contact USADA’s Drug Reference Team at 719-785-2000, option 2, or email


Supplement Connect

  • USADA’s dietary supplement safety education and awareness resource. Supplement Connect, will help you REALIZE there are safety issues with dietary supplements, RECOGNIZE risk when you see it, and REDUCE your risk of testing positive and experiencing health problems by taking concrete
  • Log in to view USADA’s High Risk List, which identifies substances already proven dangerous to an athlete’s health.

Results Management and Adjudication Process/ Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)

  • The results management process is designed to protect the rights of clean athletes, preserve the integrity of competition, and hold accountable those athletes looking to cheat through the use of dangerous, performance-enhancing drugs, while ensuring only those athletes guilty of anti-doping rule violations (ADRV) face sanctions.
  • Prohibited Association

Third-Party Certification of Dietary Supplements

  • Read more about third-party certification program criteria and what your athletes can do to minimize the risk of testing positive.


Supplement Guide

  • The Supplement Guide details the benefits of a food-first nutrition strategy, providing food and supplement comparisons, to help athletes realize and reduce the risks associated with dietary



Nutrition Guide

  • In consultation with registered dietitians, this optimal dietary intake guide is perfect for those looking to reach their full potential through nutrition.

Clean Sport Handbook

  • This comprehensive resource is designed to provide athletes and athlete support personnel with a summary of the information needed to successfully participate in the anti-doping program governing their sport. Access to accurate information ensures that athletes and support persons are not only fully prepared for training and competition, but also for the important role they play in the broader global anti-doping movement.


Pocket Guide

  • This condensed guide is designed to help athletes and athlete support personnel understand and comply with anti-doping rules and regulations, including the doping control process, Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs), and the Prohibited List.



  • If you have questions while navigating the results management process, the USOPC employs an Athlete Ombuds who provides free information to athletes concerning their rights. The Team USA Athlete Ombuds can be reached by calling 719-866-5000 or by email at


Substances of Abuse and Mental Health

  • If you, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, please reach out to the National Helpline or call the confidential Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) national helpline at1-800-662-HELP (4357).
  • Athlete Resource Guide- includes support and resources for athlete health and safety, provided by the USOPC.
  • USOPC can connect athletes with a mental health provider (24/7) anywhere in the world to assist in the management of mental health crises or provide resources related to mental health and
  • Visit for more information

Athlete Voice

Play Clean Tip Center

  • Every athlete has the right to compete on a clean and level playing If you would like to report the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in sport, you can send confidential tips to USADA’s Play Clean Tip Center by email at, phone at 1-877-752-9253, text to 87232 (USADA), or mail to:

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Attention: Legal Affairs

5555 Tech Center Drive, Suite 200 Colorado Springs, CO 80919

#NSCAStrong #NSCAStrong

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