Inside European Athletics

Inside European Athletics


European Athletics is committed to keeping its athletes healthy and to its zero-tolerance policy with respect to doping. 

The role of the medical sector in athletics is crucial, with European Athletics working in collaboration with World Athletics to make its own vital contribution to the area of medicine and sports science. 

From anti-doping to injury data, European Athletics is keeping constantly abreast of athletics’ medical situation in the sport's ever-changing world. 

Studies and surveys commissioned by European Athletics provide invaluable data about injury patterns and risks, helping to increase the safety of athletes competing at European Athletics events. 

The European Athletics Medical and Anti-Doping Commission has adopted the World Athletics Medical Guidelines for European Athletics events. 

European Athletics emphasises that all competitions should be held under the appropriate conditions that assure a healthy and safe environment for all participants. 

The guidelines are based on recommendations of leading practitioners who provide medical care at all forms of athletics events, including road racing, off-road racing and race walking competitions.

Definition of Doping

Doping means not only cheating by taking substances or using methods that are listed on the annual WADA List of prohibited substances and methods, but also violating any other World Athletics Anti-Doping Rule or this of your National Federation.
Health impact/side effects of Doping

Doping by using prohibited substances or methods not only threatens our sport, it also harms your health. Most of the products used as doping substances are medicines developed and used for healing purposes. In such cases, side effects are accepted. However, taking drugs when you are not ill means that you may suffer severe side effects but no healing effect.​ 

Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations that are important when dealing with matters of Anti-Doping are the WADA Code (link here), the World Athletics Anti-Doping Regulations (link here) and the codes of your National Federation or National Anti-Doping-Organisation.

Such rules and regulations also define Anti-Doping rule violations and procedures. So you should study them carefully. Be sure that you always working with the latest version of both the rules and the Anti-Doping codes as changes can occur. 

In particular the WADA List of Prohibited Substance and Methods is reviewed by WADA every year. The existing WADA Code came into effect on 1 January 2015 with amendments made in 2019. 

Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements are very popular among athletes. It is said that they have positive impact on health and performance, however, this has never been proven by scientific study. 

On the contrary, some studies show that they may have negative impact on health and by taking nutritional supplements you always take the risk of an adverse analytical finding.

Previous cases have shown that athletes were tested positive due to contaminated supplements. No excuses were accepted... so, be aware and careful! 


European Athletics Competition Department and the experts represented in our Medical and Anti-Doping Commission will always provide as much support as we can particular in areas of medical or Anti-Doping matters. 
If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us: 

European Athletics

Fax: +41 (21) 313 4351


As part of European Athletics drive to eradicate doping from our sport, we focus not only on education but tests - in particular pre- and in-competition tests - to ensure that competing athletes are clean and healthy.  

If you want to know what to do should you be asked to provide a sample, please contact us at: [email protected]

Run Clean

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