The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) approved the 2024 list of prohibited substances and took several important decisions in the meeting held on September 22, 2023, in Shanghai, China. The list is said to come into effect on January 1, 2024.
The narcotic tramadol finds its place in the updated list. The said substance was recommended to be prohibited back in September 2022 when data obtained through the WADA Monitoring Program revealed significant use in sports, but it has taken this long to implement the ban to provide adequate time to make the stakeholders aware of the procedural details and other aspects.
Further, the Agency’s press release states that “it has given 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”.
Last year, the Committee in its meeting held in Sydney, Australia, highlighted that 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”. The Committee also referred to research studies funded by the Agency confirming the potential for tramadol to enhance sports performance.