The MPCC has been militating for tramadol in-competition ban over several years. Let’s shed light on the problems raised by this medication.

Tramadol is a strong painkiller causing a lot of undeniable side-effects such as dizziness wich affects the security of the rider who have received the treatment but also of his opponents around him in a peloton. This potent drug is not to be regarded as able to enhance the performance, but without a doubt it induces a misperception of the pain that will eventually impact the athlete’s health.

MPCC-teams’ physicians have committed not to prescribe tramadol to their riders. Androni Giocattoli’s Dr Maurizio Vicini goes deeper: “I never use tramadol, even for classic medicine, because of the bad side-effects it creates!” The movement, like the UCI, has repeatedly called on WADA to add tramadol on the list of prohibited substances. The agency agreed to include tramadol in its monitoring program but still refuses to go for it by banning this medicine.

As Cofidis’ Dr Arthur Molique explains, the recovery of the athlete is a stake as the tramadol issue may not be confined to the ban debate. “With the augmentation of the race constraints – races that finish late, long transfers -, massages and dinner times have to be delayed”, he says. The use of sleep medicines raises a problem with the rider’s sleep, a key element in the recovery process on a stage race.

During the meeting held on 17 October 2016, the MPCC-team physicians expressed a concern about organization’s workmates which are often keen to use tramadol to treat a rider requesting the race medical assistance. That’s why the MPCC calls on the AIOCC to ensure its race physicians will stop prescribing tramadol to the riders.

While expecting a favourable response (i.e. to obtain from the WADA the ban of tramadol in competition), MPCC physicians maintain their commitment not to prescribe this medication to their riders.