Study finds WADA-legal drug is performance enhancing - and could lift cyclists into a medal position

Tramadol is currently permitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency but banned by the UCI - new study finds drug can deliver a 1.3% performance increase in ‘highly trained’ cyclists

Tramadol tablets
(Image credit: Getty Images - FRED TANNEAU)

Tramadol, the opiate painkiller which pro cyclists - including Nairo Quintana - have tested positive for in Grand Tours, has been found to increase time trial performance by 1.3% in “highly trained” cyclists.

Since March 2019 tramadol has been banned for in-competition use under the UCI’s Medical Rules, however, it is not currently on WADA’s Prohibited List. 

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Anna Marie Abram
Fitness Features Editor

I’ve been hooked on bikes ever since the age of 12 and my first lap of the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in the bright yellow kit of the Hillingdon Slipstreamers. For a time, my cycling life centred around racing road and track. 

But that’s since broadened to include multiday two-wheeled, one-sleeping-bag adventures over whatever terrain I happen to meet - with a two-week bikepacking trip from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia being just the latest.

I still enjoy lining up on a start line, though, racing the British Gravel Championships and finding myself on the podium at the enduro-style gravel event, Gritfest in 2022.

Height: 177cm

Weight: 60–63kg