Tramadol will be on the WADA prohibited list as of 2024September 26, 2023
After being on the Monitoring Program over years, the WADA Executive Committee has decided to put Tramadol on the Prohibited List as of 2024.
On September 23, 2022 the Executive Cmmittee (ExCo) endorsed the recommendation by WADA’s List Expert Advisory Group to prohibit the narcotic tramadol in competition, effective 1 January 2024.
Monitored for 12 years
It has taken some time to put the narcotic painkiller on the prohibited list. The drug was put on the Monitoring Program in 2012.
Tramadol has been on WADA’s Monitoring Program and data gathered through that program have indicated significant use in sports. Tramadol abuse, with its dose-dependent risks of physical dependence, opiate addiction and overdoses in the general population, is of concern and has led to it being a controlled drug in many countries. Research studies funded by WADA, as referenced in the Explanatory Note have also confirmed the potential for tramadol to enhance sports performance.
Delayed in 2022
The delay in implementation is to provide an additional year for broad communication and education of athletes, their entourage and medical personnel so that there is a better understanding of the practical implementation of tramadol prohibition in competition.
It will also give time to the scientific community to adjust the exact procedural details so that fairness can be ensured for athletes. In addition, it gives sports authorities time to develop educational tools for athletes, and for medical and support personnel to address the safe use of tramadol for clinical purposes within anti-doping.
Mr. Niggli continued: “We encourage athletes, their entourage and all stakeholders to acquaint themselves with the Summary of Major Modifications to avoid inadvertent use of substances and methods that are prohibited in sport for 2023. In particular, we kindly ask all Anti-Doping Organizations around the world to share the List and its related documents with athletes, their entourage and other relevant stakeholders under their jurisdiction to highlight the important updates concerning the usage of tramadol effective 1 January 2024.”
Banned by UCI in 2019
The International Cycling Union (UCI) banned the use of tramadol in competition across all disciplines back in 2019. This was done to protect the riders’ health and safety in light of the side-effects of this substance.
It was also already known in cycling that the painkiller was used among riders.