WADA bans tramadol from 2024, cannabis ban for athletes remains in place

Sydney [Australia]23 September (ANI): The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced on Friday that it has added the pain reliever tramadol to the list of banned substances for athletes at events from 2024 and will revoke its ban on cannabis after Executive Committee (ExCo) held its second meeting of the year in Sydney, Australia.

“The abuse of tramadol, with its dose-related risks of physical dependence, opiate addiction and overdose in the general population, is of concern and has resulted in it being a controlled drug in many countries,” WADA said in a press release.

“Research studies funded by WADA have also confirmed the potential of tramadol to increase physical performance,” it said.

After the meeting, WADA President Witold Banka said: “I was very pleased today with the high level of discussion and cooperation between the members of the Executive Committee. After a thorough review of the relevant experts’ recommendations, a number of important decisions were made, including approving the 2023 Prohibited List, which will come into effect on January 1, 2023. “I would like to thank our colleagues from the Australian Government for kindly hosting the meeting in Sydney and everyone who attended the meeting for their continued commitment to clean sport, including Australian Sports Minister Anika Wells,” he said.

However, after appeals from some “stakeholders,” WADA decided to review the cannabis ban, but on Friday agreed to keep it because use of the drug “is against the spirit of sportsmanship.”

The ExCo has approved the 2023 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List). The annually updated list identifies the substances and methods prohibited under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). There will be limited changes to the list, which will be published before October 1, 2022 and will take effect on January 1, 2023.

“It is particularly noteworthy that the ExCo supported the recommendation of the List Expert Advisory Group (LiEAG) to ban the narcotic tramadol in competition with effect from January 1, 2024. The delay in implementation is intended to allow an additional year for broad communication and education of athletes. their environment and medical staff to better understand the practical implementation of the in-competition tramadol ban and to give the scientific community time to adjust the precise procedural details to ensure fairness for the athletes gives sports authorities time, educational tools for athletes and for medical and support staff to address the safe use of tramadol for clinical purposes in the anti-doping fight,” WADA added in a press release.

Tramadol has been part of WADA’s surveillance program and data collected under that program has indicated significant use in sport.

WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “The question of how to deal with THC in a sporting context is not easy. WADA recognizes the diversity of opinions and perceptions regarding this substance around the world and even in certain countries. WADA is also aware that the few requests to remove THC from the Prohibited List are not supported by the scrutiny of the experts. We also recognize that the laws of many countries – as well as extensive international regulatory laws and guidelines – support the maintenance of cannabis on the list at this time.” WADA plans to continue research in this area in relation to its potential performance-enhancing effects of THC, its impact on the health of athletes and also in relation to the perception of cannabis by athletes, experts and others around the world. ‘ said Nigli. (ANI)