Banned Substance

Definition - What does Banned Substance mean?

A banned substance generally refers to a prohibited drug but could be any substance banned from the workplace. Banned substances are generally tested for during drug tests by employers. Federal drug schedules list substances by their likelihood of abuse with Schedule I and Schedule II including the most problematic drugs. A banned substance could also include a drug outside the Federal schedules but listed in a company's drug and alcohol policy.

Within the context of the athletic industry, is a substance in any class of drugs prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA). These can include anabolic steroids, stimulants, human-growth hormone enhancements, beta-blockers, recreational drugs, over-the-counter prescription medications, and/or supplements. The list is much more substantial than drugs of concern in most other industries and workplaces. The WADA releases an annual publication called the “world anti-doping code prohibited list.” It features a comprehensive description of banned substances and practices that athletes are expected to abstain from using during both in-and-out of competition statuses.

WorkplaceTesting explains Banned Substance

While a drug may have medical purposes, it can still be considered banned outside of a medical setting with a prescription. It could also be a normally legal substance but of concern in certain workplace settings such as safety sensitive positions. DOT regulations outline which banned substances are tested for where the DOT guidelines are applicable. Outside of DOT regulations, companies often rely on the Federal drug schedules to compile their lists of banned substances, which should be spelled out in their workplace drug and alcohol policy.

For many athletes, training, strengthening, and building endurance is a crucial element in developing their bodies before and up to competition. However, some athletes have managed to artificially improve their performance with the usage of banned substances, garnering a notorious history for themselves. Banned substances are used by a wide variety of athletes from different status levels, including high school, college, Olympic, and seasoned professional athletes. Certain mitigating factors do exist for athletes with medical conditions by receiving a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) clearance after a careful analysis is made.

For instance, an athlete with asthma taking prescription Albuterol, cannot ingest diuretics at the same time without official medical consent. Olympic and professional athletes are responsible for knowing what drugs are contained in the anti-doping code list as well as familiarizing themselves with newly introduced drugs. Athletes at any level using any banned substances can be disqualified from events, including losing their medal(s) and/or crown title(s).

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