British Rowing strongly believes in clean sport and works in partnership with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and our International Federation, FISA, to protect the integrity of our sport.


All athletes have the right to compete in sport knowing that they, and their competitors, are clean.

The use of performance-enhancing drugs and other doping behaviour severely damages the legitimacy of sport and undermines the integrity of clean athletes.

Anti-Doping Rules

British Rowing has adopted the UKAD Anti-Doping Rules. If you are involved in rowing at any level these rules apply to you, regardless of your age, or whether you are competing, coaching or supporting rowers.

There are ten rules that constitute an anti-doping rule violation. Not all of them are associated with a positive test therefore you should find out what they all are by clicking on the link below.

Anti-Doping Rule Violations

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued it list of prohibited substances ahead of the 2017 season, which comes into effect on 1 January. Find out the key changes to the Prohibited List by clicking on the link below.

Prohibited List 2017

Strict Liability

The fundamental anti-doping principle of strict liability means that rowers are responsible for their conduct, the decisions they make and for any banned substance they use, attempt to use, or that is found in their system, regardless of how it got there and whether or not they had an intention to cheat.

It is therefore important that all rowers conduct themselves within the rules and make informed decisions to ensure they train and race clean.

Clean Sport Workshops

British Rowing deliver Clean Sport workshops to support clubs and rowers, for more information on how to request or attend a workshop head here:  or contact:

Check Your Medication

It is crucial that athletes check all medications are safe to take prior to use. Medications can be checked online via the Global Drug Reference Online (Global DRO).

global-droGlobal DRO provides an essential means by which rowers and team support staff can check the status of medications purchased in the UK, US, Canada, Japan or Australia based on the current WADA Prohibited List.

Please note however that when checking a substance the result may be neither a ‘yes’ nor ‘no’. In this case you must assume it is a banned substance and seek further advice from UKAD and/or British Rowing.

British Rowing also strongly suggests that the ‘in-competition’ status of medication is used at all times.

Do I Need a TUE?
“The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process is a means by which an athlete can obtain approval to use a prescribed prohibited substance or method for the treatment of a legitimate medical condition”

If prescribed a substance or method, athletes should find out whether the medication is prohibited by checking the Global DRO. If the medication is not prohibited, athletes can start using the prescribed medication or treatment.

If the medication is prohibited, athletes should check with their prescribing physician or the sport’s medical personnel to see if there are any alternative medications or treatments that are permitted.

If there are no permitted alternatives, athletes should follow the link below to find out what type of exemption is required and if a TUE should be applied for prior to use, or after doping control.

Do I Need a TUE?

Only in emergency situations (such as an allergic reaction, exacerbation of asthma, or the onset of Bell’s palsy) should treatment begin without the necessary approval.

Supplements Advice

It’s important that all athletes understand the risks that are associated with the use of dietary supplements, such as vitamin tablets, energy drinks, or sport-nutrition formulas. This is because there is no guarantee that any supplement is free from banned substances – are you willing to risk a four year ban?

“In 2012 44% of all UKAD’s positive tests were attributed to supplement contamination!” LGC

Before taking a supplement athletes should:

  • Assess the need – by seeking advice from a medical professional or nutritionist on their need to use supplement products
  • Assess the risks – by undertaking thorough research of all supplement products they are considering taking
  • Assess the consequences – the could receive a four year ban
“Each year athletes have their careers ruined by inadvertent doping. Research has shown that up to 1 in 10 supplements sold on the market are contaminated with some form of steroid or stimulant prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).” LGC

Athletes can reduce the risks by:

  • undertaking thorough internet research
  • only using batch tested products
  • checking on Informed-Sport that the supplement has been batch tested

informed_sportInformed-Sport is a risk minimisation scheme in the UK, which is a supplement manufacturer testing and certification programme. It aims to assure athletes that products carrying the Informed-Sport mark have been regularly tested for prohibited substances and manufactured to strict standards.

It is not possible to provide a 100% guarantee, however, that any supplement is totally free of contamination. If any athlete has made a decision to use a supplement, then it is better to use one that has been subjected to credible testing and appropriate manufacturing controls.

Make sure that the product that has been batch tested on the Informed-Sport website matches the batch of the supplement you are intending to use!

View British Rowing’s current Supplement Policy here.

Learn more about how supplements can be exposed to risk and contaminated by WADA banned substances, from this useful video made by Informed-Sport:

Learn about supplements

100% me Clean Sport App

Clean Sport App Promotion GuideThe 100% me Clean Sport App provides you with all the information around anti-doping, helping you to make the right decisions on the go.

The App provides clear and concise anti-doping advice, guidance and updates to ensure you can be clean and stay clean wherever you are training or competing. If you need to check your medication, learn more about the risks with supplements, or simply understand more about the testing procedures and your rights as an athlete, then the App is the place to start.

The 100% me Clean Sport App is available for either iOS or Android and can be downloaded for free via iTunes or Google Play – search for ‘Clean Sport’.

Key Contacts

Key contacts

British Rowing
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8237 6700

UK Anti-Doping
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7842 3450
Twitter: @UKAntiDoping

International Rowing Federation (FISA) 

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