Drug Policy

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Drug Policies and Procedures

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Performance-Enhancing and Banned Substances Testing Program

Policies and Procedures 

1.      Introduction

The CrossFit Games are the proving ground for the Sport of Fitness™. CrossFit® is unique in the field of fitness as being both a sport and a fitness protocol. The CrossFit Games are, therefore, as much a testament to, and test of, the training methodologies of the athletes as they are to the teams and athletes who compete. For that reason, a fair comparison of training methodologies and athletes cannot be made without a level playing field.

To better achieve these goals with emphasis on the athlete’s safety and the integrity of our sport, CrossFit® has adopted the following policy statement with regard to performance-enhancing substance use.

The following policies and procedures shall be administered under the authority of CrossFit®. CrossFit reserves the right to make changes to this policy as needed, and this policy should not be construed to create a contract between athletes and the CrossFit.

CrossFit’s charter is to pursue and develop the technology of human performance. This necessarily means that CrossFit endeavors to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the athletes competing in and representing CrossFit. The use of performance enhancing substances is one of the most important issues facing athletics today. The use of any illegal drug or misuse of any legal drug or dietary supplement with the intention of enhancing performance is inconsistent with the standards expected of CrossFit athletes. Even the legal use of banned substances required for ordinary life (e.g. hormone replacement therapy) has the potential to compromise the integrity of athletic competition.

All registered athletes are subject to banned substance testing at any point during the year, including random and unannounced testing during the off-season for any reason.

2.      Purpose

CrossFit believes that random drug testing and testing based on reasonable suspicion are appropriate to ensure the health, safety and welfare of athletes, to promote fair competition in sport, to affirm compliance with applicable rules and regulations on drug abuse, to identify athletes who are improperly using drugs and intervene before they harm themselves or others. Furthermore, CrossFit recognizes its responsibility to provide performance-enhancing drug and supplement awareness, to ensure fitness and life choices that are consistent with CrossFit’s models for fitness and health.

The intent of these policies is to prevent performance-enhancing substance use and abuse by through education, testing, and professional guidance.

·         Education – providing athletes, coaches and other, members of the CrossFit community with accurate information about the problems associated with performance-enhancing substance use in sport, promoting health and safety in sport;

·        Testing – analyzing biological specimens to detect prohibited substances athletes may introduce to their bodies and associated sanctions resulting from use detailed in this policy;

·         Enforcement - providing appropriate sanctions for those who violate the policy as both a specific deterrent to the offender and to generally deter those who know of the actions, as well as to provide integrity to the competitions in which CrossFit athletes compete and ensure safety for all competitors.

3.      Performance-Enhancing Substance Awareness and Resources

 Participants who are educated about prohibited substance use in sport are more likely to make informed and intelligent decisions about such use. CrossFit will continue, through the CrossFit Journal and through publicly available media, to provide athletes, coaches and other members with current and accurate information about performance-enhancing substances and the inherent risks associated with use. Appropriate educational materials will be made available to participants - including this policy and a list of banned substances. 

4.      Consent to Participate

As a condition of participation in CrossFit sanctioned events, each athlete will be required to sign a consent form agreeing to undergo drug testing and authorizing release of test results in accordance with this policy (See Appendix A). Failure to consent to or to comply with the requirements of this policy will result in suspension from participation in that athletic event, and potential future sanctions from any other CrossFit sponsored or sanctioned events. On a periodic basis, but no less than annually, CrossFit will provide a public forum where any athlete will be able to read, comment upon, and ask questions about this policy and any of the information contained in the policy, the testing program, or other related issues. Athletes need to inform and educate themselves, and CrossFit will assist in this regard, prior to signing the drug-testing consent form.

5.      Dietary Supplements

CrossFit highly encourages athletes to ensure that the use of any dietary supplements or ergogenic aids are investigated. Many dietary supplements or ergogenic aids contain banned substances. Oftentimes the labeling of dietary supplements is not accurate and is misleading. Terms such as “healthy” or “all natural” do not mean dietary supplements do not contain a banned substance or are safe to take. In an oft-cited study by the International Olympic Committee in 2001, an analysis of 634 supplements worldwide, purchased in nutritional supplement stores much like the ones you see in most shopping malls today, nearly 15% were found to contain substances that were not listed on the product label yet would have resulted in a positive drug test had an athlete it. In the United States, the percentage of seemingly “legal” supplements that were tainted with banned substances reached almost 19%. Thus, using dietary supplements may cause positive drug tests. Athletes are solely responsible for any substance that they ingest. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY; therefore, be responsible. 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 any of these organizations).

6.      Prohibited Drugs/Substances

The performance-enhancing substance testing process may include analysis of any of the banned substance classes listed in Appendix B. Prohibited substances CrossFit may screen for include, without limitation, stimulants, anabolic steroids, peptide hormones, and urine manipulators. CrossFit requires that all athletes keep the CrossFit Medical Staff aware of any prescribed drugs and dietary supplements that he/she may be taking by completing a Therapeutic Use Exception form (available by emailing support@crossfitgames.com). Completion of a TUE form is required documentation and not an official approval to compete. However, failure to notify the staff of what you are taking may disqualify you and/or your team from competition.

7.      Specimen Analysis

Specimen analysis includes collecting urine specimens and securely shipping samples to the laboratory while maintaining confidentiality of the athlete and integrity of the sample. A detailed collection protocol is available in Appendix C.

8.      Selected Types of Drug Testing

       Championships Testing

CrossFit Games individual/team championships events, selection of athletes may be based on random selection or position of finish. 

       Unannounced Random Testing

All registered athletes who have signed the drug-testing consent form are subject to unannounced random testing. This includes at Sectional and Regional events for the CrossFit Games, and/or any other CrossFit sanctioned athletic events. Random selections will be generated electronically, maintaining objective and unbiased athlete selection.

·         Reasonable Suspicion Screening

An athlete may be subject to testing at any time when CrossFit determines there is individualized reasonable suspicion to believe the participant is using a prohibited substance. Such reasonable suspicion may be based on objective information as determined by CrossFit, and deemed reliable by such. Reasonable suspicion may include, without limitation, 1) observed possession or use of substances appearing to be prohibited drugs, 2) arrest or conviction for a criminal offense related to the possession or transfer of prohibited drugs or substances, or 3) observed abnormal appearance, conduct or behavior reasonably interpretable as being caused by the use of prohibited drugs or substances. If suspected, CrossFit will arrange for a no notice drug test. Note: The possession and/or use of banned substances may be determined by means other than urinalysis. 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 urinalysis.

9.      Notification and Reporting for Collections

Athletes will be notified of testing by the contracted specimen collector as designated by CrossFit. Notification of testing shall consist of a face-to-face meeting with the athlete and the contracted collector. The collector will provide the athlete with a formal notification form. The athlete will read and sign the form and immediately be escorted to an appropriate area for specimen collection (See Appendix D).

Athletes shall provide picture identification when entering the drug-testing station.


10.  Laboratory Analysis/Reporting Results

Urine samples will be collected and sent to a World Anti-Doping Agency approved laboratory for analysis. CrossFit hereby certifies that any laboratory it engages for the testing of performance enhancing drugs/agents will abide by the World Anti-Doping Agency code of ethics as it relates to the testing of samples. Furthermore, CrossFit hereby certifies that no sample will be sent to a laboratory for the sole purpose of monitoring an athlete for the detection of performance enhancing substances in order to circumvent a positive drug test. Each sample will be tested in accordance with this policy to determine if banned drugs or substances are present and the appropriate sanctions will apply for positive results.

If the laboratory reports a specimen as substituted, manipulated or adulterated, the athlete will be deemed to have refused to submit to testing and treated as if the test were positive for a banned substance.

All athlete information and records associated with the CrossFit drug-testing program will be confidential and will be released only to those individuals with a legitimate need to know

11.  Sanctions

Refusal to sign a consent form prohibits an athlete from participating in a CrossFit sanctioned event. Any athlete who tests positive for a banned substance or who refuses to submit to a required drug test shall be subject to any one or combination of the sanctions below.

§  Disqualification from that event

§  Return of any prizes, awards, or money from that competition

§  Permanent suspension and removal from ever participating in a CrossFit sanctioned event again 

12.  Appeal 

Athletes who test positive under the terms of the CrossFit’s Performance-Enhancing Substance Abuse Testing Program 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 or their representatives will be entitled to make an administrative appeal in the form of a written petition to ask for the repeal of or lessening of any sanction imposed. An athlete must provide written notice within 72 hours of his/her intent to submit a written petition of appeal and simultaneously ask for the documents (if necessary or desired). Thereafter, from the time of receipt of the materials provided by CrossFit, the athlete has two weeks (or 10 business days, to exclude federal holidays and weekends) to submit the written petition. In the meantime, all sanctions will remain in effect, or may abated at CrossFit’s sole discretion, until the athlete’s appeal has been completed.

CrossFit will act with alacrity to provide a written response of its decision to either deny the appeal, lessen any sanction, or grant the appeal, and explain the reasons for its decision. In extraordinary cases, the athlete may request a personal hearing and it will be CrossFit’s sole discretion to grant or deny such a request. The athlete may have an advocate or other representative present if he/she so desires at any such hearing. These proceedings shall provide an opportunity for the athlete to present evidence, as well as to review the results of the drug test. The proceedings shall be confidential and will be conducted with the degree of formality and decorum attendant for such a proceeding. The athlete may be questioned by members of CrossFit’s leadership regarding the circumstances surrounding the positive test. The members present will confer and decide upon the appeal. Any decision by CrossFit regarding the sanction to be imposed shall be final.

2013 CrossFit Banned Substances

CrossFit has adopted most of the list of banned substances by the NCAA.

CrossFit bans the following classes of drugs:

a.     Stimulants

b.     Anabolic Agents

c.     Beta Blockers

d.     Diuretics and Other Masking Agents

e.     Peptide Hormones and Analogues

f.      Anti-estrogens

g.     Beta-2 Agonists

Note:  Any substance chemically related to these classes is also banned.

The athlete shall be held accountable for all drugs within the banned drug class regardless of whether they have been specifically identified.

Drugs and Procedures Subject to Restrictions:

a.     Blood Doping.

b.     Local Anesthetics (under some conditions).

c.     Manipulation of Urine Samples.

d.     Beta-2 Agonists permitted only by prescription and inhalation.

e.     Caffeine if concentrations in urine exceed 15 micrograms/ml.

f.      Alcohol if used immediately before or during competition.

Nutritional/Dietary Supplements Warning: 

Before consuming any nutritional/dietary supplement product, review 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 using dietary supplements, even when labels claim that the produce is safe and compliant. Many dietary supplements are contaminated with unlisted banned substances.

·      Any product containing a dietary supplement ingredient is taken at your own risk.

It is your responsibility to know what you are ingesting.  Consult a pharmacist or doctor before using any substance.

Some Examples of Banned Substances in Each Drug Class

NOTE:   There is no complete list of banned drug examples!!

Some Examples of NCAA Banned Substances in Each Drug Class

Stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall); caffeine (guarana); 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.

Alcohol (banned during competition only) and Beta Blockers: alcohol; atenolol; metoprolol; nadolol; pindolol; propranolol; timolol; etc. Diuretics (water pills) and Other Masking Agents: bumetanide; chlorothiazide; furosemide; hydrochlorothiazide; probenecid; spironolactone (canrenone); triameterene; trichlormethiazide; etc.

Street Drugs: heroin; marijuana; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); synthetic cannabinoids (eg. spice, K2, JWH-018, JWH-073)

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.

Any substance that is chemically related to the class of banned drugs is also banned!  i.e designer drugs are banned, even if we can’t come up with a name yet.

You are responsible for what you put into your body.



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CrossFit Drug Testing Procedures

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1. Upon entering the collection station, the athlete will provide photo identification and/or a client representative/site coordinator will identify the athlete and the athlete will officially enter the station.


2. The athlete will select a sealed collection beaker from a supply of such and will record his/her initials on the collection beaker’s lid.


3. A collector, serving as validator, will monitor the furnishing of the specimen by observation in order to assure the integrity of the specimen until a volume of at least 80 mL is provided.


4. Validators who are of the same gender as the athlete must observe the voiding process and should be members of the official drug-testing crew. The procedure does not allow for validators to stand outside the immediate area or outside the restroom. The athlete must urinate in full view of the validator (validator must observe flow of urine). The validator must request the athlete raise his/her shirt high enough to observe the midsection area completely ruling out any attempt to manipulate or substitute a sample.


5. Athletes may not carry any item other than his/her beaker into the restroom when providing a specimen. Any problem or concern should be brought to the attention of the collection crew chief or client representation for documentation. Athletes 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 beaker closed and controlled.


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 beaker closed and controlled.


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 and based upon both the military’s urine testing process and the The National Center for Drug Free Sport, a collector will check the specific gravity and if in range measure the pH of the urine in the presence of the athlete.


10. If the urine has a specific gravity below 1.005 (1.010 if measured with a reagent strip), the specimen will be discarded by the athlete. The athlete must remain in the collection station until another specimen is provided. The athlete will provide another specimen.


11. If the urine has a pH greater than 7.5 (with reagent strip) or less than 4.5 (with reagent strip), the specimen will be discarded by the athlete. The athlete must remain in the collection station until another specimen is provided. The athlete will provide another specimen.


12. If the urine has a specific gravity above 1.005 (1.010 if measured with a reagent strip) and the urine has a pH between 4.5 and 7.5 inclusive, the specimen will be processed and sent to the laboratory.


13. If the specimen is incomplete and the athlete must leave the collection station for a reason approved by the collector, specimen must be discarded.


14. Upon return to the collection station, the athlete will begin the collection procedure again.


15. The laboratory will make final determination of specimen adequacy.


16. If the laboratory determines that an athlete’s specimen is inadequate for analysis, at the client’s discretion, another specimen may be collected.


17. If an athlete is suspected of manipulating specimens (e.g., via dilution), the client will have the authority to perform additional tests on the athlete.


18. Once a specimen has been provided that meets the on-site parameters, the athlete will select a specimen collection kit and a uniquely numbered Chain of Custody Form from a supply of such.


19. A collector will record the specific gravity and pH values if this procedure is used.


20. The collector will pour approximately 60 mL of the specimen into the “A vial” and the remaining amount (approximately 20 mL) into the “B vial”, which will be shipped to a WADA accredited laboratory) in the presence of the athlete.


21. 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 and witness (if present).


23. All sealed specimens will be secured in a shipping case. The collector will prepare the case for forwarding.


24. The athlete, collector and witness (if present) will sign certifying that the procedures were followed as described in the protocol. Any deviation from the procedures must be described and recorded. If deviations are alleged, the athlete will be required to provide another specimen.


25. After the collection has been completed, the specimens will be forwarded to the laboratory and copies of any forms forwarded to the designated persons.


26. The specimens become the property of the client.


27. If the athlete does not comply with the collection process, the collector will notify the client representative/site coordinator and third party administrator responsible for management of the drug-testing program.


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