The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has recently released the 2023 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. Broken down into several categories, the List identifies which substances and methods are prohibited at all times, in-competition only, and within specific sports. The 2023 Prohibited List and the Summary of Major Modifications and Explanatory Notes are both available to the floorball community. While no major changes have been made, further examples of prohibited substances have been added to various categories of the 2023 Prohibited List. Please note, these are not new substances being added to the List for the first time but additional examples of substances that are already prohibited.

Tramadol will be banned, however only from 2024 to allow time to prepare for the change. Cannabis and its primary ingrediant THC were also looked at in further detail.


New examples and synonyms of prohibited substances

For the classes of anabolic agents and stimulants, new examples and synonyms of already prohibited substances were added. Voxelotor was added as an example of a prohibited substance in class M1.2, that can enhance the arterial oxygen saturation. Neutralising antibodies of precursors of myostatin were added to the class S4.3 and apitegromab was added as an example substance.

Ractopamine, a beta-adrenergic agonist approved in some countries as a growth promoter for animals, was added to the list of examples under S1.2.


Tramadol joins list in 2024 

The narcotic Tramadol will be prohibited in competition, effective January 1, 2024. The delay in implementation will allow athletes and medical personnel to better prepare for the change, laboratories to update their procedures, and sports authorities to develop educational tools.

Data gathered on tramadol through WADA’s Monitoring Program indicates significant use in sport. Tramadol abuse, with its dose-dependent risks of physical dependence, opiate addiction, and overdoses in the general population, is of concern and has led to it being a controlled drug in many countries. Research studies funded by WADA have also confirmed the potential for tramadol to enhance sport performance.


Status of Cannabis

Additionally, WADA also previously announced that Cannabis and its primary ingredient, THC, will remain banned in competition. Cannabis is now legal in many countries and regions of the world. WADA’s New Year’s Day release explained that recent changes to guidelines on THC have resulted in shorter suspensions, but the in-competition ban will remain in place.

WADA published the following conclusions in the release:

a. There is compelling medical evidence that Use of THC is a risk for health, mainly neurological, that has a significant impact on the health of young individuals, a cohort which is overrepresented in Athletes.

b. The current body of objective evidence does not support THC enhancement of physiological performance, while the potential for performance enhancement through neuropsychological effects still cannot be excluded.

c. In consideration of the values encompassed by the Spirit of Sport as outlined by the Ethics EAG, and noting in particular that respect for self and other participants includes the safety of fellow-competitors, the Use of THC In-competition violates the Spirit of Sport.

Cannabis is not banned out of competition, but WADA wrote, “Athletes in regions where cannabis use is legal are advised to refrain from consuming cannabis for a number of days before the start of competition.”


The TUE Program

It should be noted that for athletes who have a legitimate medical reason for using a prohibited substance or method that is on the List, they can apply for a TUE to determine whether they meet the criteria outlined in the International Standard for Therapeutic Use Exemptions (ISTUE). The TUE Program is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport which has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians and anti-doping stakeholders. All the information on the process and application for IFF events can be found from this link here.


More information can be found on the WADA website here:

Anti-Doping Medical Anti-Doping WADA Prohibited List
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