NCAA ADHD Policy
NCAA Banned Drugs and Medical Exceptions Policy
Guidelines regarding medical reporting for student-athletes with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) taking prescribed stimulants
The NCAA bans classes of drugs because they can harm student-athletes and can create an unfair advantage in competition. Some legitimate medications contain NCAA banned substances, and student-athletes may need to use these medicines to support their academics and their general health. The NCAA has a procedure to review and approve legitimate use of medications that contain NCAA banned substances through a Medical Exceptions Procedure. The diagnosis of adult ADHD remains clinically based utilizing clinical interviews, symptom-rating scales, and subjective reporting from patients and others. The following guidelines will help institutions ensure adequate medical records are on file for student-athletes diagnosed with ADHD in order to request an exception in the event a student-athlete tests positive during NCAA drug testing.
Student-athlete document responsibility
The student-athlete's documentation from the prescribing physician to the athletics departments/ sports medicine staff should contain a minimum of the following information to help ensure that ADHD has been diagnosed and is being managed appropriately (see physician letter criteria pdf):
Record of the student-athlete's evaluation.
Description of the evaluation process which identifies the assessment tools and procedures.
Statement of the diagnosis, including when it was confirmed.History of ADHD treatment (previous/ongoing).
Statement that a non-banned ADHD alternative has been considered if a stimulant is currently prescribed.
Copy of the most recent prescription (as documented by the prescribing physician).
Statement regarding follow-up and monitoring visits.
Bluffton University Note: This form is a condensed version of the NCAA memorandum to help simplify the reporting procedure. The entire memo can be located on the NCAA's website.