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Lappartient wants Tramadol ban despite WADA stance

Joe Robinson
2 Nov 2018

UCI president states body will continue lobbying the banning of Tramadol and corticosteroids

The UCI will continue to lobby for a ban on in-competition use of painkiller Tramadol and corticosteroids, with UCI President David Lappartient saying he 'does not understand why these drugs are not already on the banned list.'

This comes just days after World Anti-Doping Agency president, Sir Craig Reedie, stated that Tramadol would not be made subject to a ban and rather remain a monitored substance.

Reedie has recently been called to resign by the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) for failing to adequately tackle four specific issues which included the use of Tramadol. 

The use of potent painkiller Tramadol has been a growing issue within the sport of cycling. Lappartient revealed that the 'most recent annual reports of the WADA monitoring programme suggest that in cycling, the prevalence use of tramadol is approximately 4%' and is, therefore, a problem for the sport as 'anybody in good health would not take this drug.' 

Speaking to a collection of journalists, Lappartient commented that the UCI would continue 'pushing to have these substances put on the banned list' but warned that these sanctions would not be possible soon having discussed the issue with Reedie recently.

'While it remains not on the list, the UCI will continue to fight on the issue and will be ready by the beginning of March to present an argument for the ban of Tramadol in riding,' said Lappartient.

'If you need some Tramadol, no problem, but you will not be able to ride and take part in a race.'

The UCI is keen to see the banning of the painkiller as it deems that from the side effects of the drug 'it is clear that the intake of tramadol constitutes a significant risk for the rider him/herself racing at high speed and for the other riders in the peloton.'

The UCI is also keen to see the rules surrounding corticosteroids changed, a class of potent drugs that can be used with the granting of a Therapeutic Use Exemption.

The use of TUEs for corticosteroids were thrust into the public gaze 18 months ago when medical records were leaked showing that Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins had received three TUEs throughout his career from triamcinolone.

While the rider cited the drug was used for hayfever, others, such as David Millar - who served a doping ban, have stated that corticosteroids were 'potent drugs' that helped strip the body of fat without losing power.

Lappartient commented on this, saying 'Things are a little different with corticosteroids but the UCI has created a selection of five experts to demonstrate the link between the use of low-level cortisone and the ethical issues.

'We should have their findings by the end of 2019.'

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