The World Anti-Doping Agency (and subsequently the US Anti-Doping Agency) will be removing finasteride from its list of banned substances at the start of 2009. I can’t find any news items about this yet in the media, but according to the WADA website, the updated prohibited list won’t be made available until October 1.
So how do I know early? Well, I was forwarded a letter dated a few days ago, written by the USADA legal affairs director that states in part, “USADA has confirmed today that as of January 1, 2009, finasteride, the substance for which your client tested positive, is being removed from the WADA Prohibited List.”
Some background on the World Anti-Doping Agency from Wikipedia — “The WADA is an independent foundation created through a collective initiative led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was set up on November 10, 1999 in Lausanne, Switzerland to coordinate the fight against drugs in sport.” The WADA had placed finasteride on the list of banned substances in 2005, because it was being abused by some as a way to mask steroids in urine testing. Meanwhile, the ban was punishing those balding athletes that wanted to take control of their hair loss problems. I’m glad they’ve come to their senses about this.