The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published the 2024 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, which enters into force on 1 January 2024.
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It is crucial that all players and support personnel are aware of the updates to the List to make sure that they are operating within the rules.
The List is one of the eight International Standards that are mandatory for all signatories of the World Anti-Doping Code, designating what substances and methods are prohibited in- and out-of-competition, and which substances are banned in particular sports.
WADA has also published:
• the 2024 Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes as compared to the 2023 List;
• the 2024 Monitoring Programme, 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.
The List is released before it takes effect so that athletes, coaches, medical staff and other personnel can acquaint themselves with any modifications. Players are personally responsible for prohibited substances found in their body, as well as prohibited methods found to have been used. Player support personnel are also liable for anti-doping rule violations if it is determined that they are complicit.
Consequently, if there is any doubt as to the status of a substance or method, it is important that players and their support personnel contact their respective National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) or UEFA’s Anti-Doping Unit for advice.
Substances are included in the list if WADA, in collaboration with scientific, medical and anti-doping experts, determines that they meet at least two of the following three criteria:
1. It enhances or has the potential to enhance sporting performance.
2. It poses an actual or potential health risk to the athlete.
3. It violates the ‘spirit of sport’ (as defined in the Code).
Substances or methods which mask the effect – or impede the detection – of prohibited substances are also prohibited, as is any substance which has not been approved for human use by any governmental regulatory health authority.
Major modification concerning Tramadol for 2024
It should be noted that the narcotic Tramadol will be prohibited in competition as from 1 January 2024.
Data gathered through WADA’s Monitoring Programme indicated significant use of Tramadol in sports, and research studies funded by WADA have confirmed the potential for Tramadol to enhance sports performance. This is in addition to the risks to players' health due to potential physical dependence, opiate addiction and overdoses.
Any player who is currently using Tramadol as a pain medication is advised to speak to their doctor to find an alternative medication that is permitted in sport.
Therapeutic Use Exemption Programme
Players who have a legitimate medical reason for using a prohibited substance or method that is on the List can apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). The TUE Programme is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport which has gained overwhelming acceptance by athletes, physicians and anti-doping stakeholders.
The criteria for granting a TUE are outlined in the WADA International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE) and, for further information, players and team doctors can refer to this UEFA Guide on the Prohibited List and TUEs.