A reminder about the status of tramadol on the 2024 WADA Prohibited List
Tramadol will be prohibited in-competition from 1 January 2024
- Any athlete tested in-competition from 1 January 2024 by UKAD or another Testing Agency, may face the prospect of a ban from sport if tramadol is found in their sample
- Athletes who may be using tramadol are reminded to speak to their doctor about seeking alternative pain medication that is permitted in sport
This is an important reminder to all athletes regarding the anti-doping status of tramadol.
In September 2022, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that tramadol will be included on the 2024 WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. This early announcement was made to allow all stakeholders in sport to prepare for this change.
WADA at the time explained that tramadol has been on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Monitoring Program for several years and data gathered through this programme has indicated significant use of the substance in certain sports. Tramadol misuse is of concern because of the risks of physical dependence, opiate addiction, and overdose. It has led to it being a controlled drug in many countries. Research studies funded by WADA have also confirmed the potential for tramadol to enhance sports performance.
Any athlete tested in-competition from 1 January 2024 by UKAD or another Testing Agency, may face the prospect of a ban from sport if tramadol is found in their sample.
UKAD Athlete Commission Member, Christian Day, speaks for the sport of rugby union, and wants to make sure that all athletes, particularly players across both rugby codes, are aware of tramadol’s impending ban in-competition.
“Tramadol has been prescribed in the past for pain relief. I wholeheartedly support the ban on tramadol, but the availability of the drug online means that some athletes may still have access to the drug outside of their medical team.
We need to be clear to all athletes that tramadol is a banned substance from next year and as a tested athlete you are responsible for what is found in your body. So act now and speak with your doctor about the options available to you."
UKAD would like to remind all athletes and athlete support personnel to view the latest updates to the Prohibited List for 2024, which were published by WADA on 27 September 2023.
UKAD has produced specific guidelines and resources for a number of common medical conditions requiring a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) which also includes tramadol. Click here to find out more.
Useful links on medicines
- Check the anti-doping status of medicines – Search, Check, Apply
- What's banned in sport - The Prohibited List
- UKAD’s Medicine and TUE Hub
- Information for athletes on clean sport