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2023 WADA PROHIBITED LIST HAS BEEN APPROVED, IS PUBLISHED, AND WILL BE IN EFFECT 01 JANUARY 2023

The World Anti-Doping Committee Executive Committee has approved the 2023 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List). Updated annually, the List designates the substances and methods that are prohibited under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code). 

 

The 2023 List can be downloaded here:  2023 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods 

WADA has also published : 

Ø  the 2023 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes as compared to the 2022 List; and 

Ø  the 2023 Monitoring Program, which includes substances that are not on the List, but that WADA wishes to monitor in order to detect potential patterns of misuse in sport. 

 

ISSF brings two notable elements to your attention: 

Tramadol

Of particular note, the ExCo endorsed the recommendation by the List Expert Advisory Group to prohibit the narcotic tramadol in competition, effective 1 January 2024.

The delay in implementation is to provide an additional year for broad communication and education of athletes, their entourage and medical personnel so that there is a better understanding of the practical implementation of tramadol prohibition in competition. It will also give time to the scientific community to adjust the exact procedural details so that fairness can be ensured for athletes. In addition, it gives sports authorities time to develop educational tools for athletes, and for medical and support personnel to address the safe use of tramadol for clinical purposes within anti-doping.

Tramadol has been on the WADA Monitoring Program and data gathered through that program have indicated significant use in sports. Tramadol abuse, with its dose-dependent risks of physical dependence, opiate addiction and overdoses in the general population, is of concern and has led to it being a controlled drug in many countries. Research studies funded by WADA have also confirmed the potential for tramadol to enhance physical performance. 

Any ISSF Athlete currently taking Tramadol for therapeutic or medical reasons will need to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) well before January 1 2024. 

Athletes can apply for a TUE here:  ISSF - International Shooting Sport Federation - issf-sports.org

 

Cannabis

As it relates to cannabis (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, THC), the ExCo endorsed the recommendation that the status of THC on the List should remain unchanged.

In September 2021, following requests from a small number of stakeholders, the ExCo agreed to initiate a review of the List status of cannabis, a substance which is prohibited in competition only. Since then, an advisory group composed of independent, experts in pharmacology, forensic toxicology, substances of abuse, analytical science, pharmacy, sports medicine, chemistry, endocrinology, internal medicine, regulatory affairs, peptides and growth factors, and hematology, from nine countries around the world, embarked on a full and thorough review of the status in sport of THC, the main psychoactive component of cannabis.

This review focused on the three criteria set forth by the Code for inclusion of any substance or method on the List, namely:

Ø  It has the potential to enhance sport performance;

Ø  It represents a health risk to the athlete; and

Ø  It violates the spirit of sport (as defined by the Code).

Under the Code, a substance or method must meet at least two of these criteria to be considered for inclusion in the List.

All existing scientific and medical publications related to THC were reviewed by the advisory group, as well as testimonials from athletes who were/are cannabis users, and published surveys from around the world. This scientific literature review was subsequently discussed with four world-renowned independent, external experts specialized in the pharmacology, toxicology, psychiatry and behavioral properties of THC and cannabinoids, to ensure that all relevant publications had been included and that all relevant scientific and medical aspects had been appropriately evaluated.

All still consider cannabis use, at this time, to be against the spirit of sport across a range of areas as listed in the Code.

THC is prohibited in competition only, and only when the urinary concentration exceeds a threshold of 150 ng/mL. This threshold was increased in 2013 from 15 ng/mL. As such, the high level of cannabis required to trigger an Adverse Analytical Finding in competition today would be consistent with a significantly impaired athlete or a frequent user. Further, the inclusion of the ‘Substance of Abuse’ provision in the Code from 2021 significantly reduced the length of suspension from a potential two (or even four) years previously to as low as one month today for athletes who can establish that the THC use occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance.

 

Ø  The 2023 List can be downloaded here: 2023 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods 

 

Ø  Did you know the ISSF website contains a lot of very useful information on Anti-Doping? Please visit the anti-doping page on the ISSF website to find out more ISSF - International Shooting Sport Federation - issf-sports.org

 

Ø  Have you registered for ADEL yet?

ADEL is WADA’s anti-doping e-Learning platform. Athletes, parents, coaches, support personnel and officials are all encouraged to register and get better educated on the responsibilities with regards to anti-doping . Anti-Doping Education and Learning (wada-ama.org)

 

Any anti-doping related questions can be directed to Doris@issf-sports.org

 

 

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