The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) is to discuss extending its tramadol ban to between races as well as in competition. Use of the drug within the peloton has again come to prominence following claims made by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke last week. The former Team Sky rider claimed that British Cycling “freely offered” tramadol to the country’s riders at the 2012 UCI Road World Championships.
While the controversial painkiller is currently only on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada’s) ‘watch list’, the MPCC – a voluntary membership organisation that adheres to stricter guidelines – has been asking for it to be banned since 2013.
Many cyclists believe tramadol is responsible for crashes in the peloton and MPCC president Roger Legeay told Press Association Sport: "We have no idea why it has not been banned already – Wada told me it was a priority in 2014 and now they say they are monitoring it again."
Wada is reportedly awaiting the findings of a three-year study into the drug's effects on athletes by the University of Granada which is due to be completed next summer.
MPCC teams have already agreed not to use tramadol in competition but are now to discuss whether to go further and also impose greater control on its use between races. Legeay said that a similar rule to the one the organisation operates for cortisone injections could be employed, whereby riders could not race for an agreed period after taking it.