Guide to WADA Prohibited List

Beta2 Agonists

Beta2 Agonists are generally used for the treatment of people with asthma. The way that these work are by relaxing the smooth muscles around the airways making them more open, as well as vasodilation of the muscle and liver whilst increasing the release of insulin.


The forms that are banned by WADA include salbutamol, formoterol and salmeterol. It has been found that substances such as salbutamol had a slight but significant bronchodilator effect which may be sufficient to improve respiratory adaptation at the beginning of exercise (1).

Side Effects

The Side effects of Beta – 2 agonists includes palpitations, headaches, nausea and muscle cramps. It is not recommended to be taken unless prescribed by a doctor.

Beta2 Agonist TUEs

This section of the prohibited list will be the most common section where athletes have a genuine condition and need to take these substances. In order for an athlete to safely use such substances, they must seek a Therapeutic Exemption Use (TUE) from the correct authority.

If you believe that there is no alternative to the medication that you are taking, you need to contact your national governing body. Below is what is stated by UK Anti Doping Agency (UKAD) as to what exemption you need to apply for.

Asthma TUE

For beta-2 agonists and terbutaline, the following documentation is required:

  • A complete and legible beta2 agonist application form
  • Lung function test results
  • Justification from the prescribing physician as to why permitted alternatives cannot be used

Beta 2 Agonists can take different forms and it is highly advisable that if you are unsure about an ingredient within a supplement that you check our site to see if the product or ingredient is on there, if not you can always email us at [email protected].