How does USADA ensure a fair playing field for amateurs?


All USA Cycling-licensed athletes can be tested at any time by USADA, including masters racers.
All USA Cycling-licensed athletes can be tested at any time by USADA, including masters racers.
Anti-doping measures aren’t just for elite athletes.

In fact, ALL USA Cycling-licensed riders, from amateurs to the pros, are required to abide by the World Anti-Doping Code and can be tested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), both in and out-of-competition. This includes masters and juniors.

All competitors are responsible for the integrity of his or her own body. It says so right on the back of your license:

“Using any form of dietary supplement may result in a positive test for prohibited substances leading to a suspension and/or other penalties. Vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and other dietary substances may contain prohibited or illegal substances that may or may not be listed on the label. Any athlete who takes a vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid or other dietary supplement does so at his or her own risk of committing a doping violation.”

Who can be tested and when?

Basically, if you’re an athlete in the sport of cycling, you are subject to both urine and blood tests, 365 days–a-year, at any time, and in any place.
  • IN-COMPETITION TESTING: USADA coordinates these in-competition tests with USA Cycling or the UCI, and athletes are usually selected for testing based on pre-established criteria, including random. An example would be selecting the top three finishers in a race for testing, as well as other randomly selected finishers. Keep in mind that in addition to pre-established criteria, USADA could also test additional athletes.
  • OUT-OF-COMPETITION TESTING: USADA establishes its plan for out-of-competition testing based on the number of cycling athletes in the USADA Registered Testing Pool. However, not being in the pool doesn’t mean you won’t be subject to out-of-competition testing. As is the case during competition, USADA can select additional athletes for testing.
Click here for more information about how the USADA testing program works.

Which substances are prohibited all of the time and which are prohibited only during racing?

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List identifies substances and methods that are prohibited during competition, as well as those that are prohibited at all times (both in-competition and out-of-competition).
An athlete must check the WADA Prohibited List to determine which substances are prohibited. You can view the complete list at

What if I have a legitimate medical need for a prohibited substance?
If you have a verifiable and legitimate medical need to use a prohibited substance, you may be eligible to receive a Therapeutic Use Expemption (TUE) Find more information on the TUE process at

I’d like to report doping abuse. What should I do?

USADA encourages you to report dopers by calling its Play Clean Line at 1-877-752-9253.

Do you have more questions on how USADA’s testing procedures work? If so, the USADA website has a great FAQ section.

Who the heck is USADA anyways?

USADA is the independent national anti-doping organization in the United States. Independent by charter and design, the mission of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is to preserve the integrity of competition, inspire true sport and protect the rights of clean athletes. USADA conducts the anti-doping program for Olympic, Paralympic and Pan American sports in the United States. Both USADA and the International Cycling Union are signatories of the WADA Code, which upholds the highest standards for anti-doping programs in sport internationally. Aside from international testing, more than 700 tests are performed each year on USA Cycling members, both professional and amateur, by USADA.
By using a USA Cycling license, you agree to know and abide by the applicable rules and regulations of USA Cycling and the UCI, including the anti-doping rules and procedures as set forth by USADA, the UCI or WADA and that you agree to submit to any drug test organized under the rules by the UCI, USA Cycling, USADA, or the official anti-doping authority of a foreign country where you are competing.

This Article Updated March 23, 2012 @ 01:51 PM For more information contact: