The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) welcomes the banning by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of glucocorticoids in competition from 2022, regardless of the type of injection.
All systematically administered glucocorticoids (oral, intravenous, and intramuscular in particular) are already banned in competition. However, this decision will also see the in-competition ban, from 2022, of periarticular, intraarticular, peritendinous intratendinous, epidural, intrathecal, intrabursal, intralesional, intradermal and subcutaneous injections.
This change adopted by the WADA Executive Committee will come into effect on 1st January 2022, which will leave sufficient time for the UCI to inform riders, their entourage and health professionals and make them aware of the appropriate clinical use of glucocorticoids in the context of the anti-doping fight.
The UCI welcomes this new regulation, which it has been requesting the WADA to introduce since 2017, and which will limit the misuse of glucocorticoids, of which the health side-effects have not been sufficiently taken into account until now. Our Federation was ready to ban glucocorticoids as part of its medical programme, as it has done for tramadol, banned in competition since 2019. Our Federation had already set up an obligatory declaration procedure for injections, notably glucocorticoids, and continues to monitor the medical consequences of repeated use of these substances.
“The decision to generalise the ban on glucocorticoids in competition regardless of the type of injection is a new step forward in the protection of the health of athletes, especially of cyclists, which was among my campaign commitments in 2017,” said UCI President David Lappartient in welcoming the decision. “After the banning of tramadol in competition since 2019 and the introduction of a protocol for managing concussion in 2021, this is new and important progress for the health of high-level athletes, a central theme of the Agenda 2022, our sport’s strategic roadmap. I am pleased that the banning of glucocorticoids comes under the authority of WADA, which I would like to thank for this decision that represents progress for sport in general and cycling in particular.”