top of page

Medical Information

Swimming With A Cold

Swimmers with a heavy cold should not enter the water. The pressures in the nasal passages encountered when under water are enormous. The mucus and other "nasties" associated with a cold and which are found in the nasal passages, can lead to ear, mastoid, and other problems if forced through the other passages in the head due to a build up of pressure. As artistic swimming involves taking the head to considerable depths, complications may arise. However, should a swimmer be suffering from a heavy cold they should inform their coach, and then the coach may be able to give the swimmer alternative activities, which will not put the swimmer at risk? BE WARNED! Don't take a risk! It is far better to miss a training session, or even a competition than to become deaf for the rest of your life.]


If you are any regular medication e.g. asthma inhalers please inform the club secretary as this information should be entered on your Club registration card. Please be sure that any drugs you take are not on the banned list which you can check by clicking on this link: In most cases your Doctor is aware. All athletes (of any level) are required and responsible for checking their own medications. This must be done via the WADA approved website: Care must be taken in ensuring that swimmers know the PRECISE names of drugs and their contents. Remember if tested POSITIVE for a banned substance this can result in a swimmer and TEAM disqualification.

Drug Testing At A Competition

This is generally a random test, and may occur at any competition. It involves a swimmer being selected by the Doctor, and being requested to provide a urine sample for testing purposes. A Team Manager/Coach will always be present for these occasions. The swimmer will sign the vessel as proof. Testing is likely at ALL national competitions. At a recent event, an asthma sufferer, on the request of a medical practitioner checking on the drugs being used by participants stated that she was using INTAL. This is widely used and is not a BANNED DRUG. On looking at the inhaler it was discovered that the contents were INTAL CO (also known as INTAL COMPOUND) THIS IS A BANNED DRUG!!! If you need medication prior to a competition (especially National events) it is essential to check with your doctor with the medicine you are taking is likely to be on a banned list.


These items are listed as banned substances for your guidance:

  • STIMULANTS - Cold remedies (e.g. night nurse), ephedrine, caffeine, salbutomol (ventolin inhaler). NARCOTICS: Any medicine with morphine – although codeine is now permitted.

  • ASNABOLIC AGENTS – Testosterone, androstenediol, beta2 agonists – salbutormol, salmeterol (some inhalers are now permitted with verification and declaration but these must be obtained before a competition)

  • BETA BLOCKERS – diving & synchronized swimming only

  • DIURETICS – furosomide etc (water pills)

  • GLUCOCORTICOSTEROIDS – cortisone drugs – inhaled, skin, nasal sprays etc.

  • LOCAL ANESTHETICS – these drugs must be declared with a legitimate verification of necessity

Any swimmer likely to be taking substances prescribed by a doctor, MUST fill in a medical form available on the British Swimming website prior to competing. Medical forms are given to every swimmer in their competition pack and should be filled out and returned to the Team Manager/Coach as soon as possible. You will not be able to swim at a competition if you have not handed in your completed medical form.


Attention From The Doctor

If a swimmer needs medical attention by the Competition Doctor at any time s/he should only be examined in the presence of a Team Manager/Coach or her/his Parent.


Food Intake

All swimmers, particularly those involved in heavy training and competitions, must ensure that their intake of both solids and liquids is adequate.


2015 nationals duet.JPG

Medical Information for Swimmers

bottom of page