In September 2022, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that tramadol would be included on the 2024 WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. The early announcement was made to allow all stakeholders in sport to prepare for the change.

The plan is to have tramadol prohibited in competition starting January 1, 2024. The update will come into effect with the 2024 WADA Prohibited List.

Any athlete tested in competition from January 1, 2024, by any Testing Agency, may face the prospect of a ban from sport if tramadol is found in their sample.

Apparently, tramadol is a commonly used prescription painkiller for endurance athletes across a number of sports. They will need to seek an alternative. It was not clear if tramadol is available under the Therapeutic Use Exemption process.

What is Tramadol

Tramadol is used to relieve pain, including pain after surgery. Extended-release capsules or tablets are used for chronic ongoing pain.

Tramadol belongs to the group of medicines called opioid analgesics. It acts in the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.

When tramadol is used for a long time, it may become habit-forming, causing mental or physical dependence. Mental dependence (addiction) is not likely to occur when narcotics are used for this purpose. Physical dependence may lead to withdrawal side effects if treatment is stopped suddenly.

This medicine is available only under a restricted distribution program called the Opioid Analgesic REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) program and will be banned by WADA on Jan. 1, 2024.

Brand Names

FusePaq Synapryn
Rybix ODT
Ultram ER

WADA goes social

WADA has stepped into the digital fray going social. The purpose is to get the message to young athletes to compete clean, with a “you are enough” campaign.

While targeting youth is important, almost all ages are connected to social media.

WADA wrote, “We are very pleased to be launching today our first social media influencer campaign ‘NaturalIsEnough’ to invite young people across Europe to join the ‘natural training movement’ and stay away from anabolic steroids. Meet our ‘natural training’ team and learn more about our #NaturalIsEnough campaign here:…