Insulin and Anti-Doping Regulations

The use of pharmacological agents to promote performance has unfortunately been widespread in the past. To protect the health of athletes, and the integrity of sport, elaborate regulation and testing has developed.  The World Anti-doping Agency sets out the regulations for the use and prohibition of pharmacological agents in world sport in 2003. This document, The Code, states that athletes are able to request medical exemption with appropriate documentation to use banned substances (Article 4.4). Because of the illicit use of insulin by some athletes (particularly weight lifters and wrestlers), insulin is on the list of prohibited substance (2005). Any athlete with diabetes who wishes to enter competitive sport events subject to The Code, or organizations who follow its regulation, will need appropriate documentation which outline the diagnosis of diabetes and its treatment. Regulators are likely to be suspicious of any significant alteration in therapy prior to major events, and are likely to require assurance from the attending physician that any change is for therapeutic reason.