Athletes, like all others, may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications. If the medication an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to fall under the prohibited list, a therapeutic use exemption may give that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine. Criteria for granting a therapeutic use exemption are 1.) The athlete would experience significant health problems without taking the prohibited substance or method, 2.) The therapeutic use of the substance would not produce significant enhancement of performance, and 3.) There is no reasonable therapeutic alternative to the use of the otherwise prohibited substance or method. Note hormone replacement therapy (HRT), . supplementing with prescribed testosterone in any form to raise testosterone levels due to natural decreases that occur with aging (even if to just elevate levels to within ‘normal’ ranges), is NOT considered a medicinal exception. Persons using HRT would not be eligible for WPA/NANBF/IPE competition.
Anabolic and androgenic steroids are available as prescription medications to be used in cases in which the body does not make enough hormone and supplementation may be required. Some hormone supplements in this pathway include growth hormone and testosterone itself. These medications are legally prescribed by health-care providers, but this group of drugs is often used illegally and abused to help increase athletic performance and improve body appearance. When used in a well-nourished body, anabolic steroids will cause weight gain primarily due to an increase in muscle mass.