Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana, who denies using tramadol in his career. /Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images – Dario Belingheri
The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) approved the list of prohibited substances for 2023, which will be published on October 1, and agreed to postpone the inclusion of tramadol in it until January 1, 2024.
WADA explained that this delay, recommended by its Listing Expert Advisory Group, is to provide an additional year to communicate and educate athletes, their entourage and medical personnel so that there is a better understanding of the practical application of the ban. in competition of the analgesic.
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The organization, whose Executive met in Sydney (Australia), recalled that tramadol has been in its follow-up program, which has demonstrated its significant use in sports, and that research financed by the AMA has also confirmed the potential of tramadol to improve physical performance.
The decision of the AMA comes after the case of the Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana, who was disqualified from the last Tour de France after testing positive for tramadol by the International Cycling Union (UCI), whose regulations prohibit its use in competition since March 1 2019, despite not being included in the AMA list.
The cyclist resigned for this reason to participate in the recent Vuelta a España and has appealed his disqualification before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS).
CANNABIS WILL REMAIN PROHIBITED IN COMPETITION
At its second meeting this year, the Executive also supported keeping the status of cannabis (THC) on the list for 2023, currently prohibited in competition, after a review process carried out by groups of experts on lists and ethics on its potential. to improve sports performance, the risk it poses to the athlete’s health and contravene the spirit of sport.
WADA recalled that cannabis is only prohibited in competition when the urinary concentration exceeds a threshold of 15 ng/mL and that the inclusion of the “substances of abuse” provision in the Code from 2021 reduced the duration of suspension of cannabis. two or even four years, to as little as one month for athletes who can prove the use was out of competition and not related to athletic performance.
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The director general of the AMA, Olivier Niggli, assured that the organization is aware of “the diversity of opinions on this substance throughout the world, and even within some countries”, but “is aware that the few requests for withdrawal of THC from the Prohibited List are not supported by comprehensive expert review.”
“We are also aware that the laws of many countries – as well as extensive international regulatory laws and policies – support keeping cannabis on the List at this time,” he said.
As he said, his plan is to “continue research in this area in relation to the possible effects of THC in improving performance, its impact on the health of athletes and also in relation to the perception of cannabis by athletes, experts and other people from all over the world.”
LA RUSADA AND THE PUERTO RICO AGENCY UNDER SURVEILLANCE
WADA announced that it continues to “closely monitor” the Russian Anti-Spoof Agency (RUSADA) to be able to assess whether it meets all the conditions for reinstatement at the end of the two-year period, after the declaration of non-compliance by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in December 2020.
Also that it continues with the analysis of the recovery of data and samples from the Moscow Laboratory in 2019, as a result of which another 17 sanctions have been imposed between May and July, which brings the total to date to 138 and hopes that there will be plus.
The Executive followed the recommendation of the Compliance Review committee and agreed to include the National Anti-Doping Organization of Puerto Rico (NADO) on the “watch list”, which was given an additional period of four months to adapt the country’s legislation to the 2021 version of the World Anti-Doping Code.
If the non-compliance is not resolved within that time, the AMA will automatically send the Puerto Rican agency a formal notification affirming the non-compliance and proposing consequences and reinstatement conditions.
Also on the recommendation of the review committee to provisionally excuse the previously reported breaches of the National Anti-Doping Center of Ukraine (NADC) for reasons of force majeure after the invasion of Russia, which prevents it from correcting its breaches in time.
The Executive approved granting WADA accreditation to the anti-doping laboratory in Lisbon and candidate accreditation to the one in Athens and reviewed the governance reforms approved last May, especially in the establishment of a new 20-member Athletes’ Council and the elections to the Group Expert Advisor to the National Anti-Doping Organization (ONAD) next November, the month in which a new meeting will be held.
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