Agency calls on athletes, entourage, and all stakeholders to note major modification concerning tramadol
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wishes to remind stakeholders that the 2024 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List) and the 2024 Monitoring Program enter into force today (1 January 2024). The 2024 List was approved by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) during its meeting on 22 September 2023 and was first published on 28 September 2023.
The List is one of the eight International Standards that are mandatory for all Signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). It designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition and which substances are banned in particular sports.
Major Modifications for 2024
All Major Modifications for 2024 are outlined in the 2024 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes, including the following particular information regarding tramadol:
On 23 September 2022, the ExCo endorsed the recommendation by WADA’s List Expert Advisory Group (EAG) to prohibit the narcotic tramadol in competition, effective 1 January 2024. The delay in implementation was to ensure stakeholders had enough time to learn and adapt to this change, especially as it pertained to the education of athletes, their entourage, and medical personnel.
Tramadol has been on WADA’s Monitoring Program and data gathered through that program have indicated significant use in sports. Tramadol abuse, with its risk of physical dependence, opiate use disorder and overdoses, is of concern worldwide 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.
Annual List Review Process
WADA leads an annual revision process concerning the List, beginning with an initial meeting in January and concluding with the publication of the List by 1 October. This is an extensive consultation process that includes WADA’s List EAG gathering information, including the latest scientific and medical research, trends, and intelligence gathered from law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies; circulating a draft List among stakeholders; and, taking their submissions into consideration to revise the draft, followed by review by the Agency’s Health, Medical and Research (HMR) Committee. The HMR Committee then makes its recommendations to WADA’s…