The ISA is unequivocally opposed, on ethical and medical grounds, to the practice of doping in sport and fully supports the position of the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against the use of banned substances and methods.

The use, possession and/or trafficking of banned substances, methods, or the encouragement or counseling to use banned substances, or methods, and/or taking measures to mask the use of banned substances, or methods by any participant in competitions over which the ISA has jurisdiction is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

As a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code, the ISA implements a strict adherence to the Code as a way to ensure a clean, healthy and fair sporting atmosphere for all athletes. By conducting both in-competition and out-of-competition testing, the ISA confirms proper testing and results management methods are administered throughout the sport.

The rules and regulations of ISA’s Anti-doping Policy aim to:

  • Promote Surfing as a drug-free sport;
  • Uphold and preserve the ethics of Sport;
  • Ensure that all athletes have an opportunity to compete equally;
  • Safeguard the physical health and mental integrity of the athletes;
  • Establish consistent standards of anti-doping policy and testing;
  • Encourage Member Federations to execute similar regulations with their athletes.
  • In addition, the ISA strives to continuously educate and monitor the National Federations’ yearly activities regarding their self-implemented policies to members. It is of the utmost importance that the ISA member federations accept and promote an anti-doping policy within their national events, camps and championships.

The WADA Code: Who is subject to the code?

If you are a national – or international – level athlete, the Code applies to you. “International-level”athletes are defined by the athletes’ International Federation. “National-level” athletes are defined by the athletes’ National Anti-Doping Organization.

Roles & Responsibilities

As an athlete, you have certain roles and responsibilities. These include:

  • You must know and comply with all “applicable anti-doping policies and rules.”
  • You must take responsibility for what you “ingest,” meaning what you eat and drink and anything that may enter your body. The essential rule is this: if it is in your body, you are responsible for it. In legal terms, this is called “strict liability.”
  • You must be available for sample collection.
  • You must inform medical personnel that they are obligated not to give you prohibited substances or methods. You must also take responsibility to make sure that any medical treatment you receive does not violate the Code.
  • You must cooperate with anti-doping organizations investigating anti-doping rule violations.
  • For more details, see links below under the “Get Educated” section

Coaches, trainers, managers, agents and other support personnel are often role models for athletes. They, too, have certain rights and responsibilities. These include:

  • They must know and comply with all anti-doping policies and rules that apply to them or the athletes they support.
  • They must cooperate with the athlete-testing program.
  • They must use their considerable influence to promote a clean sport philosophy.
  • They must cooperate with Anti-Doping Organizations investigating anti-doping rule violations.
  • They must not use or possess any prohibited substance or method without a valid justification.
    For more details, see links below under the “Get Educated” section

In-competition testing

All Athletes competing in ISA World Championships or ISA Sanctioned Events shall be subject to In Competition Testing at any time, with or without advance notice.

All ISA World Championship finalists (gold-copper) per division will be tested

In addition, the ISA typically conducts 3 random drug tests at every ISA event. The ISA will determine, in its sole discretion, whether random tests will be conducted or not, based on a variety of factors including but not limited to: event schedule, medical staffing schedule and available supplies.

a. Random athletes are selected via computerized random number generator in the presence of the testing doctor or other impartial witness.

All minors under 18 years of age must have a legal guardian or representative present at the time of testing. The representative and the athlete must sign all supporting documentation.

Out of competition testing

All Athletes under the jurisdiction of a Nation Federation that is a member of the ISA shall be subject to Out of Competition Testing at any time or place, with or without advance notice.

The ISA maintains a Registered Testing Pool of Athletes who are required to comply with the whereabouts requirements of the WADA International Standard for Testing.

The ISA notifies all athletes of their inclusion in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP), after which it becomes the responsibility of the athlete to forward their Whereabouts Filing and thereafter to provide the ISA with updated information specifying their whereabouts. The ISA provides detailed instructions to athletes and their managers for this process.

Like all International Federations, the ISA’s Registered Testing Pool is comprised of top- level athletes who are subject to both In-Competition and Out-of-Competition testing. The ISA’s RTP is updated annually, or more frequently at the ISA’s discretion.

All minors under 18 years of age must have a legal guardian or representative present at time of testing. In addition to the athlete, the representative must sign all supporting documentation.



Athletes may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take medications or undergo procedures. If the medication or method an athlete is required to use to treat an illness or condition is prohibited as per the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List aTUE may give that athlete the authorization to use that substance or method while competing without invoking an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) and applicable sanction. Applications for TUEs are evaluated by a panel of physicians, the TUE Committee (TUEC).


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 will not, on the balance of probabilities produce significant enhancement of performance beyond the athlete’s normal state of health;
  • The prohibited substance or method is an indicated treatment for the medical condition, and there is no reasonable permitted therapeutic alternative;
  • The necessity to use that substance or method is not a consequence of the prior use (without a TUE), of a substance or method which was prohibited at the time of use.


International Surfing Association (ISA) has delegated responsibility for all TUE applications to the International Testing Agency (ITA). This means that the ITA is now fully responsible for the TUE application process for all international-level athletes that fall under ISA’s jurisdiction.

Athletes who are subject to anti-doping rules would need a TUE to take a prohibited substance or use a prohibited method. You should verify with the ITA to know to whom you need to apply and if you can apply retroactively.

First, check if the required medication or method you intend to take, or use is prohibited as per the WADA Prohibited List.

You may also use a ‘check your medication’ online like globalDRO ( or ask your NADO if it has one.

You have a responsibility to inform your physician(s) that you are an Athlete bound to anti-doping rules. You and your physician(s) should check the Prohibited List for the substance/method you are prescribed. If the substance/method is prohibited, discuss non-prohibited alternatives, if there are none, apply for a TUE. Remember Athletes have the ultimate responsibility. Contact your NADO or the ITA if you are having difficulties in assessing the status of a substance.

Then, verify below your status, to determine your competition level and TUE application requirements:

International Level Definition

(a) Athletes who compete in any of the following International Events: 1. World Surfing Games; 2. World Stand Up Paddle Championships; 3. World Longboard Championships; 4. World Bodyboard Championships; 5. World Masters Surfing Championships; 6. World Adaptive (Para) Surfing Championships; 7. World Kneeboard Championships; 8. World Tandem Championships; 9. World Junior Championships (*Athletes competing in U16 division only are not to be considered International-Level Athletes) For the purposes of these Anti-Doping Rules, Continental Championships organized by ISA – Recognized Continental Associations in accordance with ISA Rulebook (as amended from time to time), or Olympic Qualification Events as defined in corresponding Qualification Systems, shall also be considered ISA International Events, and Athletes competing in those Events shall be considered as International-Level Athletes.

(b) Athletes who are part of the ISA’ Registered Testing Pool or ISA’s Testing Pool (if one is established).

ª If it is determined that you are an International-Level Athlete you must apply to the ITA in advance, as soon as the need arises, unless there are emergency or exceptional circumstances.

For substances prohibited in-competition only, you should apply for a TUE at least 30 days before your next competition, unless one of the exceptions on retroactive TUEs (see below) apply.

Please refer to the section “How to apply to the ITA for a TUE?” below.

If you already have a TUE granted by your National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO):

ITA’s TUEC will automatically recognise it for purposes of international-level Competition without the need to review the relevant clinical information.

ª If you are NOT an International-Level Athlete and you have been tested by ISA, ITA’s TUEC recognizes a valid TUE granted by your NADO (i.e., it satisfies the ISTUE criteria for granting a TUE); unless you are required to apply for recognition of the TUE because you are competing in an international event.

If you are NOT a National-Level Athlete as defined by your NADO and you have been tested by ISA, you must apply for a retroactive TUE to the ITA.


You may only apply retroactively for a TUE to the ITA’s TUEC if:

  • You required emergency or urgent treatment of a medical condition.
  • There was insufficient time, opportunity or other exceptional circumstances that prevented you from submitting the TUE application, or having it evaluated, before getting tested.
  • You are a lower level athlete who is not under the jurisdiction of ISA or NADO and were tested.
  • You tested positive after using a substance Out-of-Competition that is only prohibited In-Competition (for example glucocorticoids).

In rare and exceptional circumstances and notwithstanding any other provision in the ISTUE, you may apply for and be granted retroactive approval for a therapeutic use of a prohibited substance or method, if considering the purpose of the Code, it would be manifestly unfair not to grant a retroactive TUE.

This unique retroactive TUE will only be granted with the prior approval of WADA (and WADA may in its absolute discretion agree with or reject the ITA’s TUEC decision).

Important note:

Using a prohibited substance or method without a TUE could result in an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

In case an application for a retroactive TUE is necessary following sample collection, you are strongly advised to have a medical file prepared and ready to submit for evaluation.


ISA encourages to submit TUE applications via ADAMS, together with the required medical information. If you do not have an ADAMS account yet, please contact [email protected]ort to have it set up.

Otherwise, please download the TUE Application Form (found on, and once duly completed and signed, send it together with the required medical file to [email protected].

Your TUE application must be submitted in legible capital letters or typing.

The medical file must include:

  • A comprehensive medical history, including documentation from the original diagnosing physician(s) (where possible);
  • The results of all examinations, laboratory investigations and imaging studies relevant to the application.

Any costs incurred by the Athlete in making the TUE application and in supplementing it as required by the TUEC are the responsibility of the Athlete.

Any TUE application that is not complete or legible will not be dealt with and will be returned for completion and re-submission.

To assist you and your doctor in providing the correct medical documentation, we suggest consulting the WADA’s Checklists for TUE applications for guidance and support, and Medical Information to Support the Decisions of TUECs for guidance on specific common medical conditions, treatments, substances, etc.

Keep a complete copy of the TUE application form and all medical information submitted in support of your application, and proof that it has been sent.


ITA’s TUEC will automatically recognise your TUE for purposes of international-level Competition without the need to review the relevant clinical information. If the TUE is correctly entered in ADAMS, there is no need to contact us. Nevertheless, should you require a confirmation, you can submit your request to the ITA in writing quoting your ADAMS TUE reference number.

You can download your TUE certificate directly from ADAMS.


You must verify with the Major Event, what are its TUE requirements.

Before the Period of the Games

You should follow the normal process and submit new requests to your IF or NADO. Pre-existing TUEs will follow the recognition process provided they are entered in ADAMS.

 During the Period of the Games.

All Athletes participating in the Olympic Games must contact the ITA office located in the polyclinic of the Olympic Village.


The ITA’s TUEC must render a decision as soon as possible, and usually within 21 days from the date of receipt of the complete TUE application, or request for recognition, unless in exceptional circumstances.


Each TUE has a specific duration, at the end of which it expires automatically. Should you need to continue to use the prohibited substance or method, it is your responsibility to submit a new application for a TUE with updated medical information ahead of the expiry date, so that there is sufficient time for a decision to be made prior to the expiry of the current TUE.

Important note:

The presence (following sample collection), use, possession or administration of the prohibited substance or method must be consistent with the terms of your TUE. Therefore, if you require a materially different dosage, frequency, route or duration of administration, you should contact the ITA, as you may be required to apply for a new TUE. Some substances and dosages, e.g. insulin, are often modified during treatment and these possible fluctuations should be mentioned by the treating physician in the TUE application and would usually be accepted by the ITA’s TUEC.


A decision to deny a TUE application will include a written explanation of the reason(s) for the denial. If it is not clear to you, please contact the ITA to understand exactly why the TUE was denied. Sometimes, there may be a critical piece of information, diagnostic test, laboratory results missing, etc. In which case, you should re-apply to us.

You and/or your NADO may refer the matter to WADA for review no later than 21 days after notification of the ITA’s TUEC decision. You should send the same information that you submitted to us, and on which the decision to deny the TUE was based on, via a secure on-line method or by registered mail at:

WADA Medical Department
World Anti-Doping Agency

Stock Exchange Tower

800 Place Victoria (Suite 1700)

P.O. Box 120

Montreal (Quebec) H4Z 1B7


The email address to enquire and/or send the request for review is: [email protected]

It should be noted that WADA is not obliged to proceed with a request for a review. In that case, you and/or your NADO may appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).


You and/or your NADO have 21 days from the date of decision to refer the matter to WADA for review. The email address to enquire and/or send the request for review is: [email protected]. Alternatively, you may send to:

WADA Medical Department
World Anti-Doping Agency
Stock Exchange Tower

800 Place Victoria (Suite 1700)

P.O. Box 120

Montreal (Quebec) H4Z 1B7


The same information that was provided to your NADO should be submitted to WADA. Please use a secure on-line method unless sending by registered mail.

Pending WADA’s decision, your NADO TUE remains valid for national-level competition and out-of-competition testing only.

If the matter is not referred to WADA for review, your NADO must determine whether the original TUE that was granted should remain valid for national-level Competition and Out-of-Competition Testing.


All the information contained in a TUE application, including the supporting medical information and any other information related to the evaluation of your TUE request is kept strictly confidential and treated in accordance with the Athlete’s Declaration contained in the ADAMS TUE and in the TUE Application Form which can be found here. All members of the TUEC and any other authorized recipients of your TUE request and related information (as described in the Athlete’s Declaration) are subject to a professional or contractual confidentiality obligation.

Please review the terms of the Athlete’s Declaration carefully. In particular, note that should you wish to revoke the right of the ITA’s TUEC to obtain the information related to your TUE in accordance with the Athlete’s Declaration, your TUE application will be deemed withdrawn without approval [or recognition] being granted.

Your TUE request-related information will be retained by ISA, ITA’s TUEC and any other authorized recipients for no longer than necessary for the purposes stated in the Athlete’s Declaration, in accordance with the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information.

2023 Anti-Doping Report


For any further information and questions in relation to personal information practices, please contact the ITA at [email protected] or ISA.


If you have a doubt as regards to which organization you should apply for a TUE, or as to the recognition process, or any other question about TUEs, please contact: [email protected].




ISA Anti-Doping Rules

ISA Anti Doping Education Guidelines

WADA International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE)

WADA Checklists for TUE Applications

TUE Physician’s Guidelines

Guidelines for the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions

WADA Anti-Doping Education and Learning (ADEL)

Link to the WADA SpeakUp Whistleblowing Platform:

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Website

WADA Video Tutorial on entering whereabouts

List of WADA Accredited Laboratories

2023 ISA Anti-Doping Statistical Report

ISA Anti-Doping Privacy Notice – WADA


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