Athletics is a highly diverse sport that contains a set of disciplines grouped into jumps, throws, races of varying distances, and combined events. From a physiological standpoint, the physical capabilities linked to success are quite different among disciplines, with varying involvements of muscle strength, muscle power, and endurance. Thus, the use of banned substances in athletics might be dictated by physical dimensions of each discipline. Thus, the aim of this investigation was to analyse the number and distribution of adverse analytical findings per drug class in athletic disciplines. The data included in this investigation were gathered from the Anti-Doping Testing Figure Report made available by the World Anti-Doping Agency (from 2016 to 2018). Interestingly, there were no differences in the frequency of adverse findings (overall,~0.95%, range from 0.77 to 1.70%) among disciplines despite long distance runners having the highest number of samples analysed per year (~9812 samples/year). Sprinters and throwers presented abnormally high proportions of adverse analytical findings within the group of anabolic agents (p < 0.01); middle- and long-distance runners presented atypically high proportions of findings related to peptide hormones and growth factors (p < 0.01); racewalkers presented atypically high proportions of banned diuretics and masking agents (p = 0.05). These results suggest that the proportion of athletes that are using banned substances is similar among the different disciplines of athletics. However, there are substantial differences in the class of drugs more commonly used in each discipline. This information can be used to effectively enhance anti-doping testing protocols in athletics.