TRAMADOL – Important Change 1 January 2024

Before 1 January 2024, tramadol has been on the WADA monitoring program but not prohibited. Monitoring data shows that tramadol has been used in certain sports including cycling, rugby and football.

Tramadol is used globally as a painkiller and as it has similar properties to other opiates, abuse can be a problem. Due to the risk of dose dependent, physical dependence and addiction, including overdose, it is a controlled substance in many countries. To reduce these risks, tramadol is often given in formulations with other medications such as paracetamol or acetaminophen.

Athletes need to be aware that tramadol will be prohibited in-competition as of 1 January 2024 and consider this when being treated. Athletes may not use the medication in-competition unless they have been granted a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). Note that tramadol given shortly prior to the in-competition period may still result in a (in-competition) positive test.

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