Team Sky chiefs on Monday called for Tramadol to be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list in response to comments made by a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong.
Canadian Michael Barry, who rode for Team Sky until his retirement in 2012, revealed he used the legal drug, which has potentially addictive side-effects, while racing for the British team.
Barry was a witness in the United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation into the United States Postal Service team which resulted in Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping.
Barry used Tramadol to treat legitimate complaints, but Team Sky, which has won the last two Tours de France through Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, insists it no longer uses the substance and called for it to be outlawed so its use can be regulated using therapeutic use exemption certificates (TUEs).
A Team Sky spokesperson said: “None of our riders should ride whilst using Tramadol – that’s the policy of this team.
“Team Sky do not give it to riders whilst racing or training, either as a pre-emptive measure or to manage existing pain.
“We believe that its side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness, could cause issues for the safety of all riders.
“We also feel that if a rider has the level of severe pain for its appropriate use they should not be riding.
“Tramadol is not prohibited by WADA, but this has been our firm position for the last two seasons and all medical staff and riders are aware of this.
“Our view is that it should be on the WADA list and any appropriate clinical use could be managed through the regulated TUE, or Therapeutic Use Exemption, system.”