UCI concerned new drug “ten times more powerful than tramadol” could be used by professional cyclists to mask fatigue during races, report suggests

June 12, 2024

The UCI is reportedly worried about the possibility of a powerful new painkiller making its way into pro races, with riders and teams having been warned of the governing body’s “concerns” about the drug “ten times more powerful than tramadol”.

Le Temps(link is external) broke the story yesterday evening, reporting that tapentadol — a “very powerful” painkiller used to treat extreme pain, often in cases of severe osteoarthritis or bone cancer — could be one of the UCI’s current main doping concerns.

The Swiss newspaper reports the UCI’s concerns about its potential use in races has been simmering for the past few months, the governing body obtaining permission from the World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA) to place it on its monitoring programme at the end of 2023, ahead of a possible future ban. Road.cc