The International Cycling Union (UCI) is to ban analgesic Tramadol and tighten rules on glucocorticoids — a class of corticosteroids, from next year.

The UCI said in a statement released Thursday that it would impose the measures for in-competition use starting in 2019, following a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that numerous riders are using the drug.

“The UCI has decided to ban the in-competition use of Tramadol for health reasons,” the governing body added following a meeting of its steering committee at Arzon, France chaired by body president David Lappartient.

The organisation said it had made the ruling owing to possible side-effects: “dizziness, loss of alertness, drowsiness, or physical dependency and risks of addiction to opioids.”

Tramadol is on a WADA list of products under surveillance without actually being banned.

With regard to glucocorticoids, riders’ doctors will have to declare their use and a mandatory minimum eight-day break from racing.

The UCI said that “glucocorticoids can trigger undesirable side-effects which, in the case of an accident or medical emergency, can be life threatening,” hence its action.

WADA published data on June 13 which showed the drug’s presence in 548 of 12,554 samples from cyclists across 2017, much higher than in other sports. – Agence France-Presse

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