As athletes across the world start a new year of training and get ready for a successful season of racing, among the details that require attention involves knowing exactly what is on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) list of banned substances.
Last week, after its annual nine-month review and revision process, WADA's released its 2019 list. Most of what was on the banned list through last season, remains on the list this year. And while there have been some changes that include specific wording for the use of stem cell therapy.
The 2019 list was finished and released in October, went into effect on January 1. According to WADA Medical Director, Dr. Alan Vernec, there were no "major changes," to the 2019 list.
"Unusually, this year, there were no major changes and only one very minor change in the wording of gene doping," Vernec said in a statement sent to row2k. "This change was the addition of "cells" and "post-transcriptional" in Section M3 on Gene Doping," according to the statement.
Vernec stated that the "title" in the coding from Gene Doping, to Gene and Cell Doping, "in order to reflect that cells were already included in M3.3. Stem cells are not prohibited for treating injuries as long as their use restores normal function of the affected area and does not enhance function.
It also added the term "post-transcriptional" to more completely define the processes that can be modified by gene editing, Vernec's statement read.
For the full list of major changes, go here.
According to Vernec, individual athletes should pay strict attention to any form of supplements they are taking, but noted that, "With regards to supplements, WADA recommends that athletes use extreme caution when using them due to the possibility of contamination.
"In many countries, the manufacturing and labeling of supplements may not follow strict rules, which may lead to a supplement containing a substance that is prohibited under anti-doping regulations. This may happen for a variety of reasons including deliberate addition or contamination," Vernec said.
Once again in 2019, athletes will want to be mindful of what's in their food
According to Vernec, WADA maintains that "an athlete is solely responsible for any prohibited substances found to be present in his or her body."
That statement said, however, "the prevalence of supplement contamination prompted WADA to include a new article in the 2015 World Ant-Doping Code that specifically allowed for reduced sanctions where athletes could establish that a positive test resulted from a contaminated product," and that the athlete was not responsible and "bore no significant fault or negligence."
According to WADA, the 2019 list is "harmonized across all sports and a substance may be considered for inclusion if it meets two of the following three criteria: It has the potential to enhance sport performance; it represents a health risk to the athletes; it violates the spirit of sport.
"It is important to note that the list is not static but evolves based on new scientific evidence," Vernec's statement said. "WADA maintains dialogue with athletes, administrators, scientific experts and other stakeholders, and closely follows the literature in this area to obtain new evidence and information as it becomes available," Vernec said.
Go here for the full list.