Following publication of the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] Prohibited List for 2024, which includes the banning of well-known pain-killer tramadol from in-competition use, further guidance has been provided to assist players, support teams and medical personnel with the upcoming changes.

WADA has issued fact sheets for both players and medical personnel to help prepare them for the 2024 season. These fact sheets have been distributed to medical personnel and the relevant tour bodies, but can be summarised by the following five key points:

1. From 1 January 1 2024,  tramadol will be added to the S7 (narcotics) category of the WADA Prohibited List . This means it will be banned in competition only.

2. Tramadol is an opioid that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Recent scientific research has suggested that it can also have performance-enhancing effects. Moreover, it is highly addictive, which poses a health risk to athletes.

3. If a player’s physician prescribes tramadol to use incompetition to treat a diagnosed medical condition, players must apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) before they start taking the medication.

4. If players use tramadol within 24 hours before the start of the in-competition period, there is a risk that a sample collected in-competition will return a positive finding.

5. If players use tramadol more than 24 hours before the in-competition period, it is unlikely, but not impossible, that an in-competition test result will be positive.

To download the fact sheets, click here (athletes’ guidance) or here (medical professionals' guidance).

The ITIA remains committed to supporting members of the tennis community – whether they are players, representatives, support staff, coaches, or medical personnel – in understanding all elements of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and WADA Prohibited List.

Players seeking further understanding of the WADA Prohibited List, or seeking practical support from the ITIA on anti-doping matters, can make contact with us directly via our app, through direct message on social media, or by filling out the contact form at itia.tennis/contact

Published 30 November 2024 16:00

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