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Saturday 01, Oct 2016

  UCI Lobbying WADA To Ban Tramadol

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UCI President Brian Cookson has expressed his disappointment over the fact that Tramadol, an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain, is still not added to the list of banned substances of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Cookson added we are pretty clear that this is something that is being abused. The UCI President said it is years now and it goes back before his time. Cookson said his predecessors asked WADA to look at this and it has been on the watch list for all these times and further commented that they looked at it again this year and have concluded that there is still not sufficient evidence to put it on the banned list.

A UCI spokesman said the world governing body of cycling is pushing WADA to tackle the issue. The spokesman added the UCI in March 2011 formally requested that WADA consider adding Tramadol to the List of Prohibited Substances. The UCI spokesman said the UCI expressly reiterated its request in 2015 to WADA to include Tramadol on the Prohibited List and added we have this year again reiterated our request to have Tramadol banned in-competition. It was further remarked by the spokesman that we along with Cycling Anti-Doping Federation are currently lobbying to have Tramadol included on the Prohibited List.

In November last year, Cycling Anti-Doping Commission director Francesca Rossi had claimed there would be around 675 positive tests if Tramadol was added to the WADA banned list. Used as a painkiller, Tramadol has side effects including drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness and the substance has been blamed by many for crashes within the peloton.

In 2014 former pro Michael Barry acknowledged in his autobiography that Tramadol was used by riders when he was part of Team Sky. Barry added he frequently saw them being administered it prior to his retirement in 2012. Team Sky then urged the opioid to be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list. The Team called for Tramadol to be outlawed so its use can be regulated using therapeutic use exemption certificates (TUEs). A Team Sky spokesperson had then remarked none of our riders should ride whilst using Tramadol and added Team Sky do not give it to riders whilst racing or training, either as a pre-emptive measure or to manage existing pain. The spokesman went on to add then that we believe that its side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness, could cause issues for the safety of all riders and added we also feel that if a rider has the level of severe pain for its appropriate use they should not be riding.

Barry was a witness in the United States Anti-doping Agency investigation into the United States Postal Service team that resulted in the downfall of Lance Armstrong after which he confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs at the end of his career. Barry also admitted he made use of Tramadol to treat legitimate complaints but got worried he researched about the drug on the internet.

Last month, a WADA spokesman confirmed nothing will change for next season. The spokesman added Tramadol is on the monitoring program, on the watch list and also remarked it was there for 2015, and it is remaining there in 2016 and so it would not be on the prohibited list.

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Sunday 28, Feb 2016

  Orica-GreenEdge And Katusha Leave MPCC

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Australian professional road race cycling team Orica–GreenEDGE and Russian road bicycle racing team Katusha have decided to leave the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) because they now believe rules of the UCI are enough.

Orica-GreenEdge and Katusha became the latest teams to have left the MPCC after the exit of LottoNL – Jumbo and Lampre – Merida. LottoNL and Lampre left MPCC after its riders were blocked from racing under rules of the France-based voluntary organization. American Chris Horner, who was previously with Lampre, was unable to defend his Vuelta a España title in 2014 because of low cortisol levels and the same was experienced by LottoNL’s George Bennett during last year’s Giro d’Italia. Previously, the Astana team ignored the cortisol rules of MPCC ahead of the 2014 Tour de France in allowing Lars Boom to race and Astana was later expelled from the organization. The same thing happened with Bardiani-CSF team at the 2015 Giro d’Italia and also left the MPCC.

The problem of overlapping rules was acknowledged by UCI president Brian Cookson who remarked the only rules teams should have to worry about are those of the world governing body of cycling, the UCI.

In a press release, Orica’s general manager Shayne Bannan said we would like to thank all the current and former members of the MPCC for the discussions and initiatives and for sincerely helping the sport move further in the right direction. Bannan added we fully support the initiatives that have now become an integrated part of the rules of the sport. Going onwards, we will be a strong supporter of seeing these and other initiatives being further developed by the official organizations in collaboration with all the other teams and stakeholders of cycling.

In a statement, Team Katusha said Team Katusha understands that the MPCC intends to strictly apply its rule regardless of the similar UCI provision recently adopted, despite a clear decision taken in this case by the UCI Disciplinary Commission and without acknowledging the specificity of the present case. Team Katusha statement further reads that it regrets the position of the MPCC and in particular its refusal to adapt its rules to the mandatory UCI Regulations and as a consequence Team Katusha has no other choice but to leave the MPCC with immediate effect. Team Katusha also said it would like to underline that it continues to fight against doping by every possible means as it has done in the past years. In this respect, Team Katusha will continue to voluntarily apply other MPCC rules – such as the prohibition to use Tramadol or the imposition of several rest days for a rider in the event of collapsing cortisol levels.

The MPCC, without Orica and Katusha, count only seven of the 18 WorldTour teams as members: Ag2r La Mondiale, Cannondale, Dimension Data, FDJ, Giant – Alpecin, IAM Cycling, and Lotto – Soudal. Teams like Astana, Etixx – Quick-Step, Lampre, LottoNL, Movistar, Sky, Tinkoff, and U.S.-registered teams BMC Racing and Trek-Segafredo are not members of the MPCC.

The MPCC existed for some time and gained momentum after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Many teams signed up to its stricter rules for increasing the stance of professional cycling against doping and controversial teams.

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Thursday 01, May 2014

  Team Sky Urges Ban On Tramadol

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Team Sky Urges Ban On Tramadol

Team Sky have called for the opioid Tramadol to be added to the banned list of  the World Anti-Doping Agency in response to comments made by Michael Barry, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong.

Barry, who rode for Team Sky until his retirement in 2012, recently disclosed that he made use of a legal and powerful drug while racing for the British team. Tramadol has potentially addictive side effects and is classified as a narcotic-like pain reliever that is used by athletes and others to treat moderate to severe pain. This drug can result in nausea, indigestion, vomiting, drowsiness, headache, dry mouth, abdominal pain, and vertigo. Indiscriminate use of this drug can lead to tachycardia, postural hypotension, palpitation, gastrointestinal irritation, or cardiovascular collapse.

Team Sky called for Tramadol to be outlawed so that use of this drug can be regulated using therapeutic use exemption certificates. A spokesperson for Team Sky, which won the past two Tours de France through Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, said none of our riders should ride whilst using Tramadol – that’s the policy of this team and added that Team Sky do not give it to riders whilst racing or training, either as a pre-emptive measure or to manage existing pain. The spokesperson added we believe that its side-effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness, could cause issues for the safety of all riders and added we also feel that if a rider has the level of severe pain for its appropriate use, they should not be riding. The spokesperson for Team Sky also remarked that Tramadol is not prohibited by WADA, but this has been our firm position for the last two seasons and all medical staff and riders are aware of this and said our view is that it should be on the WADA list and any appropriate clinical use could be managed through the regulated Therapeutic Use Exemptions.

Tramadol was used by Michael Barry for treating legitimate complaints. Barry remarked he had nagging injuries throughout his career and he used Tramadol when he was injured and racing injured, but he also realized the side effects. The former cyclist said it was a lot stronger than he thought and is potentially addictive.

Sir Dave Brailsford, the Team Sky principal, remarked the no-Tramadol policy of this team was reiterated at the team’s training camp last November. Brailsford said it is similar to someone having their first joint and then moving on to ecstasy or whatever and added then the next thing you know everyone is on crack cocaine.

Tramadol was included on the 2014 “monitoring program” for “possible in-competition abuse” by WADA and the anti-doping agency remarked the World Anti-Doping code stipulates that a substance or method can be considered for inclusion on the WADA prohibited list (which is reviewed every year) if it is determined that it meets two of the following three criteria: it has the potential to enhance sport performance, it represents a health risk to the athletes, and it violates the spirit of sport.

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