Alex Dowsett: Time to stop professional cycling's pill culture

Movistar pro and national time trial champion Alex Dowsett speaks to Cycling Weekly this week about the use of tramadol

Alex Dowsett, men's winner, British time trial championships 2013

Alex Dowsett has spoken out against the prevalent use of painkillers and sleeping medication in the professional peloton.

Talking to Cycling Weekly's Sophie Smith for an interview in this week's magazine, the Movistar professional said that he once tried controversial painkiller tramadol in a training session, hated it and would never take it again.

"I tried [tramadol] once in a training time trial as I didn't want to try anything new in a race," he said. "I didn't actually like it at all and I completely disagreed with it as well because of what it did." Dowsett said that it gave him a hangover the next day, and made it hard for him to judge his training effort.

"It's not present in other sports to rely so heavily on that sort of thing. While we're now one of, if not the cleanest sport, there is still this reliance on things that come in tablet form," said Dowsett.

You can read more of Dowsett's views on use use of pills in the peloton in Cycling Weekly May 15 issue, on sale now.

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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.