WADA study finds no relationship between Therapeutic Use Exemption and Olympic medals awarded

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World Anti-Dopings Agency (WADA) medical director Dr. Alan Vernec and WADA’s Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) manager, David Healy, conducted a study to see if there was a link between TUE’s and likelihood of winning an Olympic Medal.

The two found that there was no connection. They took data from five Winter and five Summer Olympic Games from 2010 to 2018 to measure the results.

“The percentage of athletes with TUEs competing in elite sport and the association with winning medals has been a matter of speculation in the absence of validated competitor data,” said Vermic.

TUEs are provided on an individual basis, however, they could be prescribed for asthma, cardiovascular issues, Growth-hormone deficiencies, sleep disorders and musculoskeletal conditions.

Out of a total of 20,139 evens, there were 2,062 medals awarded.

Athletes that competed with a TUE in fewer than .9% of events with 21 out of 2,062 medals were awarded, which totals 1.01% of the time – not enough of an increase to conclude that there is a relation.

Vernec added, “The TUE Program is a necessary part of sport allowing athletes with legitimate medical conditions to compete on a level playing field.”

 

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