Doping is the use of drugs to gain competitive advantage. THIS IS CHEATING. It is also is illegal and can damage your health.

Swim Ireland has an anti-doping policy. It enforces anti-doping rules and maintains a doping control programme (including drug detection tests).


In Ireland, any registered competitor may be tested for drug abuse.


Punishment for a positive drugs test may vary widely from a warning letter up to a lengthy (possibly permanent) ban from training and competition.

NB: Accidental Doping

A swimmer may be penalised even if the drug was taken unknowingly/accidentally eg in medicines.


Some common medicines contain drugs which are illegal.  If in doubt check with your GP or pharmacist and refer to the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) policy below. Most anti asthma drugs are only legal if taken by inhaler. If such drugs have to be used by mouth or injection they must be declared in writing to SI.

Therapeutic Use Exemption

Some other groups of drugs are legal if they are declared in advance but only if they are given for a specific condition eg. dental anaesthetic.

Even the taking of legal medications may require competitive swimmers to complete a medical declaration form.

List of Prohibited Drugs

To check you are not unknowingly taking banned substances the current Prohibited Drugs List can be consulted via this link.

[This information has been adapted from Hertford SC’s Anti-Doping Policy.]