Drug Policy

Drug Policy


As the world’s definitive test of fitness, the CrossFit Games stand not only as a testament to the athletes who compete, but to the training methodologies they use. In this arena, a true and honest comparison of training practices and athletic capacity is impossible without a level playing field. Therefore, the use of prohibited performance-enhancing substances is prohibited. Even the legal use of banned substances, such as physician-prescribed hormone replacement therapy, has the potential to compromise the integrity of the competition and must be disallowed in many instances.

With the health, safety and welfare of the athletes and the integrity of our sport as top priorities, CrossFit has adopted the following drug-testing policy to ensure the validity of the results achieved in competition. This policy shall be administered under the authority of CrossFit. CrossFit reserves the right to make changes to this policy at any time as needed, and this policy should not be construed as creating a contract between the athlete and CrossFit.


As a condition of participation in CrossFit-sanctioned events, each competing athlete agrees to undergo drug testing in accordance with this policy. Refusal to consent to, or comply with, the requirements of this policy prohibits an athlete from participating in a CrossFit-sanctioned event.  

All athletes registered in any CrossFit-sanctioned competition are subject to drug testing at any time during the year, including directed, unannounced out-of-competition testing, for any reason.


The CrossFit Games drug-testing policy aims to prevent the use of prohibited substances through rigorous testing. CrossFit uses a combination of directed and random in-competition and out-of-competition drug testing to deter athletes from the use of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, and to detect the use of these substances by athletes.  

Drug tests may include analysis for any of the banned substance classes listed on the Banned Substance Classes List (see APPENDIX A), including, but not limited to, stimulants, anabolic agents, diuretics (and other masking agents), and peptide hormones (and their analogues).

Specimen analysis requires collecting urine or blood samples and securely shipping these samples to the laboratory while maintaining the confidentiality of the athlete and integrity of the sample. ALL COLLECTIONS AND/OR TESTING UNDER THIS POLICY SHALL BE OBSERVED COLLECTIONS.

General guidelines for urine sample collection are available in APPENDIX B.

Note: The possession and/or use of banned substances may be determined by means other than urinalysis or blood sample. For example, when an individual is found to be in possession and/or using such substances, he/she will be subject to the same procedures that would be followed in the case of a positive test.


CrossFit is committed to providing a comprehensive drug-testing program including both championships and out-of-competition testing.

Championships Drug Testing may occur onsite at any CrossFit-sanctioned competition. All athletes at regionals and the Games are subject to testing. The selection of athletes to be drug-tested may be based on random selection or position of finish.

Out-of-Competition Testing: All registered athletes, having electronically signed the drug-testing consent form as part of the registration process, are subject to unannounced directed or random testing outside of competition, 365 days a year, at any time and any place. Directed selections will be made solely at the discretion of CrossFit Inc. Random selections may be generated electronically from a pool of athletes selected by CrossFit Inc.


CrossFit, at its sole discretion, will select athletes to be included in CrossFit’s Registered Athlete Testing Pool or “Testing Pool.” As long as an athlete is included in the Testing Pool, he or she must furnish accurate and up-to-date contact and whereabouts information for the purpose of facilitating drug tests.  

CrossFit will provide email notification to an athlete when he or she has been selected for the Registered Athlete Testing Pool and will furnish the athlete with a contact information form at that time. A method for updating this form on a continuous basis will also be provided. All contact information collected for the purpose of administering drug tests will be kept strictly confidential.  

Athletes included in the Testing Pool must submit complete and accurate contact and whereabouts information quarterly. Contact and whereabouts information is due no later than one day prior to the beginning of each quarter. Deadlines for submitting this information are:

  • December 31 for the first quarter (beginning January 1)
  • March 31 for the second quarter (beginning April 1)
  • June 30 for the third quarter (beginning July 1)
  • September 30 for the fourth quarter (beginning October 1)

Once the quarterly whereabouts information has been submitted, athletes must notify CrossFit promptly of any changes to their contact and whereabouts information by emailing updated information to drugtesting@crossfitgames.com.

Testing Pool athletes who plan to travel away from the address(es) listed on their contact information form, thereby making it impossible for them to meet a collection agent at the listed address(es) within 12 hours of the initial contact from the collection agent, must update their contact information prior to traveling.

If an athlete fails to provide and/or update their contact or whereabouts information, or provides incorrect or false information, and this results in the inability of the collection agent to contact the athlete or to administer a drug test within an acceptable amount of time, that athlete may be charged with a positive test result and subject to sanctions.

It is the sole responsibility of the athlete to ensure that his or her contact and whereabouts information is accurate and up-to-date. Failure to do so may lead to sanctions.


CrossFit retains the right to test athletes in the Registered Athlete Testing Pool at any time and any location. Once an athlete has been included in the Testing Pool, the athlete will remain in the Testing Pool and subject to testing until the athlete receives written notification from CrossFit that they have been removed from the Testing Pool.  

In order to be removed from the Testing Pool upon retiring, an athlete must first inform CrossFit in writing of their intention to retire. Until this written notification is made, the athlete must continue to provide contact and whereabouts information and must submit to drug testing. Failure to fulfill these requirements will be seen as a violation of the drug testing policy and may result in sanctions. CrossFit will not suspend the prosecution of a drug-testing policy violation due to an athlete’s impending retirement.  

If an athlete previously included in the Testing Pool wishes to come out of retirement, they must notify CrossFit in writing AT LEAST 6 months before participating in any CrossFit-sanctioned competition. The athlete will immediately be reinstated in the Testing Pool and required to furnish current contact and whereabouts information. The athlete will be subject to drug testing at any time.    


Any Testing Pool athlete serving a sanction imposed by CrossFit will remain in the Testing Pool and subject to drug testing. The athlete will be required to furnish contact and whereabouts information in compliance with this policy and will be subject to drug testing at any time. Failure by this athlete to comply with all aspects of the Drug-Testing Policy may result in further sanctions.    

An athlete who is finishing a term of a suspension due to a violation of the Drug-Testing Policy will be included in the Registered Athlete Testing Pool. The athlete will immediately be subject to drug testing and must provide contact and whereabouts information. The athlete must provide the contact and whereabouts information AT LEAST 6 months prior to participating in any CrossFit-sanctioned competition.


Any athlete selected for drug testing on-site at a CrossFit-sanctioned competition will be notified of this test by Athlete Control personnel. Athlete Control personnel will escort the athlete to the drug-testing station where a contracted collection agent from Drug Free Sport will administer the drug test.

Any athlete selected for out-of-competition drug testing will be notified by the contracted collection agent from Drug Free Sport. Notification may occur through a phone call, email or text message to set up a face-to-face meeting between the athlete and collection agent for the purpose of conducting the drug test.  

If an athlete fails to comply with the sample-collection procedure, or refuses or fails to provide a sample, the athlete will be charged with refusing to provide a sample and subject to the same sanctions applied for a positive drug test.  

If a collection agent is unable to contact an athlete or the athlete fails to meet with the collection agent within an acceptable amount of time to conduct the drug test, the athlete will be held responsible for the missed test and may be charged with a positive test result. Appropriate sanctions will apply.

See APPENDIX B for general urine sample collection protocol.


Collected urine and/or blood samples will be sent to a World Anti-Doping Agency-approved laboratory for analysis. Samples will be tested in accordance with WADA guidelines to determine if banned drugs or substances are present. Appropriate sanctions will apply for positive drug test results.

If the laboratory reports a specimen as substituted, manipulated or adulterated in any way, the athlete will be charged with refusing to submit to a drug test. The athlete will be subject to the same sanctions applied to a positive drug test.


Drug test results will be reported to CrossFit by Drug Free Sport. CrossFit will notify athletes of a positive test result by email.

CrossFit, at its sole discretion, will publicly announce violations of the CrossFit Games Drug Testing policy once the appeals process is over and a final decision has been reached. These announcements will include the athlete’s name, infraction and the sanction imposed.  


Violations of the Drug-Testing Policy for which an athlete may be sanctioned include, but are not limited to:

  • Positive drug test result: indicates the presence of a prohibited substance, its metabolites or markers in an athlete’s blood or urine sample.
  • Substitution, manipulation or adulteration of a sample as determined by the collection agent or laboratory.
  • Use, attempted use or possession by an athlete of a prohibited substance.
  • Use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited method.
  • Evading, refusing or failing to submit to a drug test.
  • Whereabouts Violations: 1) athlete fails to submit required quarterly whereabouts information to CrossFit by the specified deadline, 2) athlete fails to update their whereabouts information as required, 3) athlete provides whereabouts information that is incomplete or inaccurate and does not allow for athlete to be reasonably located for the purpose of drug testing, or 4) athlete misses test for any reason.
  • Trafficking or attempted trafficking of any prohibited substance or prohibited method.


Athletes who violate the Drug-Testing Policy are subject to sanctions. Sanctions will be imposed at the sole discretion of CrossFit based on the circumstances present in each case. Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to, any combination of the following:

  • Disqualification from the competition and loss of results.
  • Loss of results from previous competitions.
  • Forfeit or required return of any prizes, awards or money.
  • Suspension from participating in future CrossFit-sanctioned events. The length of this suspension will be determined by CrossFit Inc. on a case-by-case basis and may include a lifetime ban from all CrossFit-sanctioned or sponsored events.
  • Public disclosure.


Athletes who commit a violation of the Drug-Testing Policy will have the right to state their case prior to any sanctions being imposed. Within 72 hours of being notified of their violation, an athlete must provide written notice of their intent to submit a written petition of appeal concerning the violation. A request by the athlete for any pertinent documents (if necessary or desired) must be made within this initial written notice and not at a later date. Thereafter, from the time of receipt of any materials provided by CrossFit, the athlete has 10 business days to submit the written petition of appeal explaining why they are not in violation of the Drug-Testing Policy.

Following a review of the athlete’s petition of appeal, CrossFit will respond in a timely manner to provide a written response of its decision, including supporting reasons, either to deny or grant the appeal. If, after this investigation, the athlete is found to be in violation of the Drug-Testing Policy, CrossFit will proceed with applying any appropriate sanctions.  

In extraordinary cases, the athlete may request a personal hearing and it will be at CrossFit’s sole discretion to grant or deny such a request. The athlete may have an advocate or other representative present, if the athlete so desires, at any such hearing. However, CrossFit will only consider and review statements made by the athlete, not those made by a coach or representative. CrossFit personnel present will confer and decide upon the appeal. Any decision made at such a hearing by CrossFit regarding the violation and any sanction(s) to be imposed shall be final.

Note: Athletes charged with a positive drug test will be entitled to ask for a copy of the test results and all documents related to the acquisition of the sample and its processing. Athletes are also entitled to request that their “B” sample be tested.  


CrossFit recognizes its responsibility to provide performance-enhancing drug and supplement education, and to promote fitness and lifestyle choices consistent with CrossFit’s models for fitness and health. Participants who are educated about prohibited substances in sport are more likely to make informed and intelligent decisions concerning the use of these substances. CrossFit will, through the CrossFit Journal and through publicly available media, continue to provide athletes, coaches and other members of the community with current and accurate information about prohibited substances and the inherent risks associated with their use. Appropriate educational materials will be made available to participants - including this policy and a list of banned substance classes (see APPENDIX A).


CrossFit highly encourages athletes to research any dietary supplements or ergogenic aids prior to use. Many dietary supplements or ergogenic aids contain banned substances. Often, the labeling of dietary supplements is not accurate and is misleading. Terms such as “healthy” or “all natural” do not mean dietary supplements are free of banned substances or are safe to take. In an investigation prompted by the International Olympic Committee in 2001, an analysis of 634 supplements worldwide found nearly 15 percent of these supplements to contain substances which would cause a positive drug test, but these banned substances were not listed on the product label. In the United States, the percentage of supplements that were tainted with banned substances reached almost 19 percent. Thus, using dietary supplements may cause positive drug tests.

ATHLETES ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY PUT ON OR INTO THEIR BODIES. Therefore, athletes must act responsibly. Athletes should seek out substances that are labeled as safe for athletic use in accordance with standards from a legitimate agency, such as the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG), HFL Sports Science, NSF International (which certifies supplements for Major League Baseball and the National Football League), ConsumerLab and the National Products Association (This is not an endorsement of these organizations but simply an educational statement for athletes to examine). Athletes should also be cautious when taking any substance that says it is anabolic or muscle-building, or that it will improve recovery, add intensity to a workout (“pre-workout” supplements), or otherwise enhance performance. Supplements offering these claims have been, historically, more likely to cause failed drug tests among CrossFit Games competitors.


CrossFit recognizes that some banned substances are used for legitimate medical purposes. In rare cases, CrossFit permits a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to be granted for those athletes with a documented medical history demonstrating the need for the regular use of such a drug. CrossFit adheres to the standards set by the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) and will only grant a TUE in strict accordance with all of the following criteria:

  • The athlete would experience a significant impairment to health if the prohibited substance were to be withheld in the course of treating an acute or chronic medical condition.
  • The therapeutic use of the prohibited substance would produce no additional enhancement of performance other than that which might be anticipated by a return to a state of normal health following the treatment of a legitimate medical condition. (Note: The use of a prohibited substance to increase “low-normal” levels of any endogenous hormone is not considered an acceptable therapeutic intervention.)
  • There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance.
  • The necessity for the use of the otherwise prohibited substance cannot be a consequence, wholly or in part, of the prior use without a TUE of a substance which was prohibited at the time of use.

CrossFit requires all athletes seeking to use prohibited substances or prohibited methods for medical treatment to submit a Therapeutic Use Exemption Form. Completion of a TUE Form is required documentation and not an official approval to use such prohibited substances or methods. However, failure to submit a TUE Form requesting that CrossFit allow the use of a banned substance or method for medical treatment may disqualify an athlete or team from competition.

Note: In the event of an acute incident such as a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), or an acute asthma or coughing attack where a prohibited substance is required for the immediate and short-term treatment of the athlete, a retrospective/emergency TUE will be required only for in-competition periods and for the banned substance in question (e.g., glucocorticosteroid, epinephrine). These incidents are rare and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Note: A Therapeutic Use Exemption for Hormone Replacement Therapy using anabolic substances will NOT be granted under any circumstance for either men or women. Therefore, any athlete who tests positive for any anabolic agents (e.g., testosterone), even if these anabolic agents are taken as part of medically supervised Hormone Replacement Therapy, will be disqualified from competition and subject to the appropriate sanctions as imposed by CrossFit Inc.

All TUE Forms, along with the required supporting documentation, must be turned in to CrossFit at support@crossfitgames.com. Incomplete TUE requests will not be reviewed (see APPENDIX C for TUE documentation requirements). Each completed TUE application will be reviewed and a final determination as to whether the exempted use is allowed will be communicated to the athlete by email. Decisions on whether to grant the Therapeutic Use Exemption may take up to 30 days. Athletes must submit their TUE Form with sufficient time for a decision to be made in their case before they participate in any CrossFit-sanctioned competition. Any athlete who tests positive for a banned substance and has not been granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption for that substance, even if they have submitted a TUE Form that is currently under review, may be charged with a positive drug test and may be subject to sanctions.  

TUE forms expire at the end of each year for which the exemption was granted. Therefore, a new TUE form must be submitted each year even if a TUE was previously granted, and even if the diagnosis, condition, drugs used and treatment remain unchanged. Unless a current and valid TUE has been granted, an athlete testing positive for a banned substance, even if the banned substance is administered in the treatment of a medical condition, will be subject to the sanctions outlined in this policy for a failed drug test.

TUE submissions will be handled with the strictest confidentiality by CrossFit Inc.



  • Stimulants
  • Anabolic Agents
  • Beta Blockers (in competition)
  • Street Drugs
  • Diuretics and Other Masking Agents
  • Peptide Hormones and Analogues
  • Anti-Estrogens
  • Beta-2 Agonists (permitted with prescription and TUE, and through inhalation only)


  • Stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall); cocaine; ephedrine; fenfluramine (Fen); methamphetamine; methylphenidate (Ritalin); phentermine (Phen); synephrine (bitter orange); methylhexaneamine; “bath salts” (mephedrone); etc. (Exceptions: phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine are not banned.)
  • Anabolic Agents (sometimes listed as a chemical formula, such as 3,6,17-androstenetrione): boldenone; clenbuterol; DHEA (7-Keto); nandrolone; stanozolol; testosterone; methasterone; androstenedione; norandrostenedione; methandienone; etiocholanolone; trenbolone; etc.
  • Beta Blockers (banned in competition only): acebutolol; atenolol; metoprolol; nadolol; pindolol; propranolol; timolol; etc.
  • Street Drugs: heroin; marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., spice, K2, JWH-018, JWH-073); etc.
  • Diuretics and Other Masking Agents: bumetanide; chlorothiazide; furosemide; hydrochlorothiazide; probenecid; spironolactone (canrenone); triamterene; trichlormethiazide; etc.
  • Peptide Hormones and Analogues: growth hormone (hGH); human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG); erythropoietin (EPO); etc.
  • Anti-Estrogens: anastrozole; tamoxifen; formestane; 3,17-dioxo-etiochol-1,4,6-triene(ATD); etc.
  • Beta-2 Agonists: bambuterol; formoterol; salbutamol; salmeterol; etc.

There is no complete list of banned drugs. Any substance that is chemically related to the class of banned drugs is also banned. Athletes shall be held accountable for all drugs within the banned drug class, regardless of whether or not they have been specifically identified as banned. For example, designer drugs chemically related to banned substances are banned even if a name has yet to be created for them.


  • Blood doping
  • Local anesthetics (under some conditions)
  • Manipulation of urine samples
  • Caffeine if concentrations in urine exceed 15 micrograms/ml
  • Alcohol and Beta Blockers banned during competition only


Before consuming any nutritional/dietary supplement, research the product and consult a physician or pharmacist. Dietary supplements are not well-regulated and may cause a positive drug test result. Athletes have tested positive and received sanctions for using tainted dietary supplements, even when labels claim the product is safe and compliant. Many dietary supplements are contaminated with unlisted, banned substances.

Any dietary supplement is taken at your own risk. It is your responsibility to know what you are ingesting. Consult a pharmacist or doctor before using any supplement. You are responsible for what you put into your body. BE RESPONSIBLE.


Drug testing is certainly not the most glamorous aspect of an athlete’s life, but it is essential to help ensure a fair and clean competition. The information in this appendix provides an overview of CrossFit’s in-competition urine sample collection process:

  1. Upon entering the collection station, the athlete will provide photo identification and/or a client representative/site coordinator will identify the athlete to the collector.
  2. The athlete will select a sealed collection vessel from a supply of vessels and will record his/her initials on the collection vessel’s lid.
  3. A collector, serving as validator, will monitor the furnishing of the specimen by direct frontal observation in order to assure the integrity of the specimen.
  4. Validators who are members of the official drug-testing crew and are of the same gender as the athlete must observe the voiding process. The procedure does not allow for validators to stand outside the toilet area or outside the restroom. The athlete must urinate in full view of the validator (i.e., the validator must observe the flow of urine). The validator may request that the athlete raise his/her shirt high enough to observe the midsection area in order to completely rule out any attempt to manipulate or substitute a sample.
  5. The athlete may not carry any item other than his/her vessel into the restroom when providing a specimen. Any problem or concern should be brought to the attention of the collection crew chief or a CrossFit representative for documentation. The athlete will rinse and dry hands, with water only, prior to urination.
  6. Once a specimen is provided, the athlete is responsible for keeping the collection vessel closed and under his/her control.
  7. Fluids and food given to athletes who have difficulty voiding must be from sealed containers (approved by the collector) that are opened and consumed in the station. These items must be caffeine- and alcohol-free, and free of any other banned substances.
  8. If the specimen is incomplete, the athlete must remain in the collection station until the sample is completed. During this period, the athlete is responsible for keeping the collection vessel closed and under his/her control. If the specimen is incomplete and the athlete must leave the collection station for a reason approved by the collector, the specimen may be discarded. Upon return to the collection station, the athlete may have to begin the collection procedure again.
  9. Once an adequate volume of the specimen is provided, the collector who monitored the furnishing of the specimen by observation will sign that the specimen was directly validated. Then, based upon the urine testing process of the National Center for Drug Free Sport, a collector will measure the specific gravity of the sample in the presence of the athlete.
  10. If the specific gravity of the urine is outside the acceptable ranges, the specimen will be discarded and the athlete must remain in the collection station until another specimen is provided.
  11. If the sample’s specific gravity is within the required range, the specimen will be processed and sent to the laboratory.Once a specimen has been provided that meets the on-site parameters, the athlete will select a specimen collection kit from a supply of kits. The collector will review the electronic Chain of Custody Form with the athlete as this form is filled out.
  12. The collector, in the presence of the athlete, will pour some of the specimen into the “A vial” and the remaining amount into the “B vial.”
  13. The collector will place the cap on each vial in the presence of the athlete. The collector will then seal each vial in the required manner under the observation of the athlete.  
  14. All sealed specimens will be secured in a shipping case. The collector will prepare the case for shipping to the WADA-accredited laboratory.
  15. The athlete and collector will sign an electronic document certifying procedures were followed as required. Any deviation from procedures shall be recorded. If an athlete deviates from the required procedure, another sample may have to be collected.  
  16. After the collection has been completed, the specimens will be forwarded to the laboratory and copies of all electronic forms saved and forwarded to the designated persons.
  17. At this point, the specimens become the property of CrossFit Inc. and will be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
  18. The laboratory will make final determination of specimen adequacy.
  19. If the laboratory determines that an athlete’s specimen is inadequate for analysis, at CrossFit’s discretion, another specimen may be collected.
  20. If an athlete is suspected of manipulating specimens (e.g., via dilution), CrossFit will have the authority to perform additional tests on the athlete or to sanction the athlete for refusing to provide a sample.
  21. If at any time during the collection process the athlete does not comply with procedures or instructions, the collector will notify a CrossFit representative and the third-party administrator responsible for management of the drug-testing program.


This appendix outlines the documentation that must be attached to the completed Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Form in support of the application for a TUE:

  • Evidence of the diagnosis must be attached.
  • Copies of the physician’s original reports or letters must be attached. The application must include a comprehensive medical history and the results of all examinations, laboratory investigations and imaging studies relevant to the application. Note: Any additional relevant investigations, examinations or imaging studies requested by CrossFit’s TUE Committee before approval will be undertaken at the expense of the applicant.
  • The application must include a statement by an appropriately qualified physician attesting to the necessity of the otherwise prohibited substance or prohibited method in the treatment of the athlete, and describing why an alternative, permitted medication cannot, or could not, be used in the treatment of this condition.
  • For conditions that cannot be demonstrated, independent medical justification must be attached to the application.

The athlete must provide accurate and up-to-date contact information for CrossFit to use in delivering the decision as to whether the Therapeutic Use Exemption has been granted. The information provided in the TUE application must be up to date and exact, in terms of both content and form.