Medication and prohibited substances

Here you can find information on the latest WADA prohibited list, and all you need to know about Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs). We also have fact files on various prohibited substances including anabolic steroids, recreational drugs and the dangers of contaminated meat.


Substance information

Prohibited Substance Category: S6: Stimulants (Substance of Abuse)
Prohibited in-competition? Yes
Prohibited out-of-competition? No

Ecstasy is an illegal synthetic drug with psychedelic and stimulant effects also known as MDMA or 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine.

It is most commonly found in tablet form and is often mixed with other toxic chemicals such as ephedrine, ketamine, cocaine, methamphetamine, caffeine, even rat poison.

Ecstasy affects the central nervous system by releasing chemicals like serotonin and oxytocin which increase energy, drive and motivation. 

Is use or possession a criminal offence?

Yes, in most countries

What are the health risks?

There are many long terms risks of ecstasy use including low self-esteem and self-confidence, liver damage and impaired memory, learning and attention span.

What are the side effects?

Ecstasy creates a sense of euphoria and restlessness, followed by a rapid comedown period.  It can cause decreased appetite, short term memory loss, dehydration, increased heart rate, severe anxiety, paranoia and depression.

What is the starting sanction for a first offence in rugby?

3 months if used Out of Competition in a context not related to sport performance

What else should you know?

If you took ecstasy and it was detected from an in-competition doping control, you face a suspension from rugby.  Your name would also be published, which would damage your reputation, and risk any contracts and sponsorship deals you may have.

Remember that social drug use is bad for your health as an elite athlete, but also bad for your reputation.  If you are filmed or photographed taking ecstasy it could be published on social media.