Competitive amateur cyclists, specifically those planning to participate in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in August, best take note of the following rule changes effective 1 January 2023 to the World Anti Doping Organization (WADA) Prohibited List.

It is vital to keep in mind that while the Prohibited List includes numerous examples, it is not exhaustive, and may change during the year. The easiest, quickest and most accurate way to check the prohibited status of substances and medications is online at

Anabolic Agents: New examples were added to the Prohibited List, including several substances that may be included in unregulated over-the-counter dietary supplements – adrenosterone (also known as Androst-4-ene-3, 11-ketoandrostenedione and 11-oxoandrostenedione), Epistane, Ractopamine, S-23 and YK-11.

Hormone and Metabolic Modulators: Updated to include antibodies against myostatin and myostatin precursors. In clinical trials, such antibodies promote muscle growth and are being explored to treat muscle wasting diseases. Apitegromab was added to the Prohibited List as a myostatin inhibitor antibody.

Diuretics and Masking Agents: As in years past, WADA still requires athletes to obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) if they use a diuretic/masking agent AND a threshold substance at the same time, specifically formoterol, salbutamol, cathine, plus cold medicines ephedrine, methylephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

Stimulants: Solriamfetol, helps prevent day-time sleepiness, was added as a non-specified stimulant as well as the common over-the-counter dietary supplement methylhexanamine.

Narcotics: Tramadol will become prohibited in 2024, based on and recent research and usage cases, like pro Nairo Quintana’s 2022 Tour de France disqualification. Athletes can continue to use Tramadol both in- and out-of-competition without a TUE in 2023. According to WADA, the addition of Tramadol to the Prohibited List will be delayed until 2024 to allow for education of athletes and athletic staff.

Cannabinoids: There were no changes in the cannabinoid section of the Prohibited List and THC remains on the list, with WADA also noting: 

  • “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.” 
  • “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.”
  • “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.” 

Photos: WADA