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Drugs in Sport

For up to date information about this subject go to the UK Anti Doping website

General Information

Were you aware that all competitive swimmers, irrespective of age. are governed by the ASFGB (Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain) and FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation) Doping Protocols ?

Although it is unlikely anyone below National Level will be tested for drugs it is still possible.  Should you consider what you take? After all most of us think of sports dope testing as the search for Steroids

The answer is Yes. we must consider it however unlikely and be aware of the implications of what we put into our bodies.


There are many people in modern society who need to take Asthma medication. FINA allows only certain types of reliever to be used by competitors.

The drugs commonly used can be divided as follows: 

Allowed Asthma Drugs Banned Asthma Drugs
Sodium Cromglycate Ephedrine
Theophyline Isoprenaline
Beclomethasone (by inhalation only) Fenoterol
Flucticasone (by inhalation only) Rimiterol
Salbutamol ** Orciprenaline
Terbutaline **  
Salmeterol **  

** These three drugs are permitted BY INHALER ONLY and written notification is required to be made to the governing body.

Common Ailments such as Cold / Cough, Diarrhoea, Hayfever, Pain and Vomiting

The common sense question that should be asked is should a swimmer really be swimming if they are suffering from Diarrhoea. vomiting etc? However, that aside. you should not take any of the banned drugs of which the following are examples only. The reason is that a lot of them are classed as stimulants:


Cold / Cough / Hayfever ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine, phenylephrine
Diarrhoea / Pain opioids ( eg morphine)

So what do you do if you (or your child swimmer) has a cold - Read the packet before administering anything -LEMSIP contains phenylephrine ! ! ! ! !

This article is not intended to be, and certainly isn't an exhaustive list and lists only a few of the many drugs banned. It is merely an attempt to make swimmers aware of the issues concerned.

Please take time to view the information on the British Swimming website.

Full details can be found at the FINA web site, or the UK Sport web site.