Open letter to Wada

On this Friday 6 October 2017, MPCC's President Roger Legeay - and his Board - send an open letter to World Anti Doping Agency (WADA).


OPEN LETTER TO WADA :



Dear Director general,

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Since the creation of the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC), we have been warning continuously your agency regarding the issues of corticoids and we have been advising the prohibition of Tramadol since 2013. Ever since, we have faced those same answers that seem to be the political will included in the phrase: "wait and see". Indeed, your answers never change: "we are setting up a commission", "we will make the working group aware of that", "we keep on monitoring"….


Here is a quick reminder of what have happened since the MPCC creation in 2007.

• Until 2007, there was a health journal where were listed all the medicines that were prescribed to the riders, including the TUEs.

• When the MPCC was created, the movement checked the riders' health journals, thanks to an external medical expert.

• In 2007, this journal disappeared, which lead the MPCC to decide in 2008 that:
> In case of a corticoids infiltration, an eight days racing interruption would be prescribed to the rider in question.
> Unannounced blood cortisol test would be created with immediate racing stop in case of an abnormally low cortisol level.

> At the same moment, an official request was addressed to the national and international associations to re-establish official rules regarding corticoids, particularly thanks to cortisol level testing.


Blood testing is regularly performed on riders belonging to MPCC teams, which represents 70% of the world peloton. For your information, up to date, the MPCC have performed 2953 tests and only 14 of them revealed an abnormally low cortisol level, only one in 2017. This was made possible thanks to the MPCC teams’ involvement. All the medical experts, including Anglo-Saxons, agree to say that a real health problem can appear in case of an abnormally low cortisol level. Endocrinologists who wrote on that subject issued views that confirmed this. We keep those views at your disposal.


WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


All the experts and chief doctors agree to say that an abnormally low cortisol level is dangerous for the athlete’s health in case crashes or high stress situations. International scientific literature confirms this risk. All of them notice and precise that an abnormally low cortisol level only can be provoked by an external corticoids intake, legal or not.


WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


This issue regarding the athlete’s health comes along with the verified observation – that your agency confirmed – that glucocorticoids are performance enhancing. The WADA medical commission for health and research president’s correspondence issued on the 8th of September of 2015 is particularly indicative about this matter. According to your agency, today’s issue is that it is impossible to determine if an intake has been realized legally or not when testing. You also say that the experts disagree on total prohibition. This isn’t an acceptable situation. We can’t accept that, even if you are aware that those products are performance enhancing drugs, you still authorize their intake while racing under certain terms.


WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Will we have to wait for a severe problem due to corticoids intake that would have provoked an abnormally low cortisol level to see your agency take the appropriate measures? On a voluntary basis, MPCC has now been realizing tests on the world’s greatest races for 10 years now. This proves that there is a solution which preserves what matters the most: the riders’ health.


Time has come for WADA to take essential – and definitive – decisions. We remind you of what you said during an interview on the 8th of March of 2017:
« WADA is considering to totally forbid corticoids, during competitions and out of competitions… This prohibition would make it harder to be granted a TUE. We have reached a point when we now must open a new debate. To me, the system isn’t good. »


As your statements from the 8th of March of 2017 confirm, we all know that the TUEs system generates terrible perverse effects. Some people use those effects to enhance their performance.


WE CANNOT WAIT ANY LONGER, YOU AVE TO ACT


Since 2013, the MPCC has been drawing your attention – and UCI’s – on the issue regarding the use of a diverted medicine: TRAMADOL. This medicine, this product more precisely, is used to conceal pain. We all know that in sport, and particularly in cycling, using a medicine such as TRAMADOL to make pain disappear is a disguised performance enhancer.


Supported by medical experts, the college of professional cycling teams’ doctors and particularly MPCC members’ doctors have showed the existence of some very serious secondary effects which would justify the total prohibition of this drug. TRAMADOL is a level II analgesic with many dangerous secondary effects, especially for machine drivers’ athletes. Prescriptions with an analgesic objective create a strong dependency, even with therapeutic doses, weaning is difficult. MPCC member teams’ doctor committed not to use the TRAMADOL during races. Finally, last year, the UCI sent you a full record asking for the prohibition of TRAMADOL during competitions and your agency’s only answer was monitoring, “wait and see”.


ONCE AGAIN, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?


According to our movement and our members, 10 years is a long time to wait for dealing with subjects about which everybody agrees on their importance, regarding the riders’ health or stating that those medicines are performance enhancing drugs. Your agency is an anti-doping agency which must take the necessary measures to preserve the riders’ and athletes’ health. Third element of WADA’s missions, Health isn’t considered and WADA’s responsibility is committed.


I take this opportunity to ask questions about judicial consequences of the PUERTO case? What is WADA’s point of view?


Once more, cycling hasn’t been dealt with in the same way than all the other sports, particularly in this case. Whereas, let’s remind that, all of the world’s athletes are submitted to the same rules and sanctions with the list of forbidden products being almost the same.


WE CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER, WE ARE TIRED


Convicted by the validity of our remarks and of our repeated requests and waiting for your answer,
Best regards,


OPEN LETTER IN PDF VERSION




Quick Overview : Cortisol and Tramadol :