Today, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) publishes the 2024 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List), which enters into force on 1 January 2024.
- the 2024 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes as compared to the 2023 List; and
- the 2024 Monitoring Program, which includes substances that are not on the List, but that WADA wishes to monitor in order to detect potential patterns of misuse in sport.
The List is one of the eight International Standards that are mandatory for all Signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code(Code). It designates what substances and methods are prohibited both in- and out-of-competition and which substances are banned in particular sports.
Major modifications for 2024
All Major Modifications for 2024 are outlined in the 2024 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes, including the following particular information regarding tramadol:
Tramadol has been on WADA’s Monitoring Program and data gathered through that program have indicated significant use in sports. Tramadol abuse, with its risk of physical dependence, opiate use disorder and overdoses, is of concern worldwide and has led to it being a controlled drug in many countries. Research studies funded by WADA, as referenced in the Explanatory Note, have also confirmed the potential for tramadol to enhance sports performance.
Annual list review process
WADA leads an annual revision process concerning the List. For a substance or method to be added to the List, it must be determined that it meets at least two of the following three criteria:
- It has the potential to enhance or enhances sport performance
- It represents an actual or potential health risk to the athletes
- It violates the spirit of sport
The Therapeutic use Exemption Program
It should be noted that for athletes who have a legitimate medical reason for using a prohibited substance or method that is on the List, they can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to determine whether they meet the criteria outlined in the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE). The TUE Program is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport which has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians and anti-doping stakeholders.
Read more here.