If your child is using banned substances for a legitimate reason, it is important to declare this up front and to get approval for the continued use of this substance. Some of the substances commonly used by children participating in sport are Ritalin and Concerta, used for treating ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHA (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
So, what do you do? The first thing to do is to find out if the medication or supplements your child is using contain any banned substances. Click here to find the 2011 WADA prohibited List.
It is also important to know that some substances are totally prohibited, some are prohibited for in-competition only, or for certain sports, or for males only. If you want to check the status of a particular substance, you can find a useful search on the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport(SAIDS)website, click here.
It is probably a good idea to consult with a doctor who knows about these things, just to check and be sure. If it turns out that your child is taking banned substances legitimately, you need to complete the TUE form and submit it for consideration by the anti-doping authorities. On the form, you will see that a medical practitioner, such as your GP, must make a declaration about the use of this substance, just to ensure that the child has a legitimate medical reason for taking the substance.
Your national federation has no authority over this process or decision. They are required, just as you are, to follow the rules. A Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee will assess the application and decide if it is valid, and if your child can be given exemption or not. If they decide to give your child exemption, you will receive a written notification of this decision. It is a good idea to take a copy of this to events just in case. But remember to still declare the use of these substances on your form during the doping control process.
Pleading your child’s case over the phone or requesting special dispensation from this process, is not going to work. As parents, you simply must accept that if your child is going to participate in competitive sport, that this is part of the requirement. The choice is not whether or not to comply, but whether or not to participate! Unfortunately, this is the current state of affairs in sport today, and doping control is becoming a bigger and bigger issue. PSP suggests that you simply tackle the process and make it as simple and painless as possible!