WARNING: Tramadol Added To 2024 Prohibited List

  • Integrity Blog

From 1 January 2024, the drug Tramadol is being added to class S7. Narcotics of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List 2024 and will be prohibited in-competition.

Any athlete found to be using Tramadol in-competition, faces the prospect of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) and a ban from sport. 

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol belongs to the group of medicines called opioid analgesics and is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. The drug is a prescription-only medicine.

Tramadol has been on WADA’s Monitoring Program and data gathered through that program have indicated its significant use in sport. 

Tramadol misuse is of concern because of the risks of physical dependence, opiate addiction, and overdose. Research studies funded by WADA have also confirmed the potential for Tramadol to enhance sports performance.

In 2022, the WADA announced that Tramadol will be included on the 2024 Prohibited List of Substances and Methods.

The delay in implementation was to provide education to athletes, their support personnel and medical personnel so that there is a better understanding of the practical implementation of Tramadol prohibition in-competition.

Athletes, coaches, sports doctors and pharmacists are being urged to familiarise themselves with the WADA 2024 Prohibited List which comes into effect on 1 January 2024.

What should I do if I use Tramadol?

Athletes who are taking Tramadol are reminded to speak to their doctor about seeking alternative pain medication that is permitted in sport. If no alternative is available, athletes may need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption to continue taking Tramadol.

Warning: If you are using Tramadol out-of-competition, be aware of the “washout period” for the medication and ensure you have ceased use prior to the “washout period” to allow for the drug to be cleared from your body before in-competition starts. The "washout period” for Tramadol will be communicated by WADA before 1 January 2024.

*The “washout period” refers to the time from the last administered dose to the time of the start of the In-Competition period (i.e. beginning at 11:59 p.m. on the day before a Competition in which the Athlete is scheduled to participate, unless a different period was approved by WADA for a given sport).