Tramadol test is a big deal but there are still loopholes in the system, says expert

13 March 2019 12:05
The introduction of a tramadol test within professional cycling has been welcomed by leading doctor Prentice Steffen, though the American has warned that the test is just one element in the ongoing fight against doping and that there have been several recent reality checks to prove that doping is still a factor. Steffen was the first doctor to raise concerns over the abuse of tramadol, which is a powerful painkiller. In 2012 he brought the drug to the attention of Roger Legeay at the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) and the Frenchman petitioned for a complete ban on the substance. Riders have used the substance in both training and racing, with a consensus that it reduces pain, while also delaying reactions. It has been blamed for causing crashes, as a result.ADVERTISEMENT Although tramadol has been on WADA's 'monitoring list' for a number of years, the UCI took measures to bring in tests for the drug from March 1, with the first batch of controls taken at Paris-Nice earlier this week. Riders and teams will face punishment if any trace drug is detected, though the levels of punishment are far less severe than if a rider tests positive for a drug such as EPO or testosterone. If a rider tests positive for tramadol they face disqualification from the race they are participating in and a fine. For a second offence, they could be handed a five-month ban. A third positive would result in a nine-month suspension. "I think this is a big deal. We looked at three areas: Is it dangerous? Is it performance enhancing? And is it against the ethics of the sport? As a group, the MPCC doctors and directors, we all agreed that it was a yes in all three areas. It was clear cut that it should be on the WADA list," Steffen told Cyclingnews after the first tests for tramadol were carried out. Other drugs and other methods You can read more at Cyclingnews.com . read full article

Source: Cycling News