MONTREAL — The World Anti-Doping Agency has released its 2017 list of prohibited substances for athletes, adding a drug used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and eating disorders to its catalog of banned stimulants.
The substance, known chemically as lisdexamfetamine, is part of a family of drugs that stimulate the central nervous system.
Other substances used to treat ADHD, including methylphenidate, were already on WADA’s prohibited list as specified stimulants, meaning they can’t be used by athletes without a prior therapeutic use exemption.
Nicomorphine, an opioid analgesic drug available in parts of Europe and which is converted to morphine following administration, was added to the list of banned narcotics.
WADA noted in the list it released early Friday that it was putting Codeine on its monitoring program so that researchers could establish patterns of use for possible performance-enhancement.
“All athletes around the world are held to these standards and there can be no tolerance for people who intentionally break the rules,” WADA President Craig Reedie said in a statement. “Updated annually, the list is released three months ahead of taking effect so that all stakeholders – in particular athletes and their entourage — have ample time to familiarize themselves with the list and its modifications.”
The most-discussed addition in 2016 remained on the prohibited substance list for next year.
Meldonium was added to the list from last Jan. 1 and resulted in a two-year ban for Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who was among hundreds of athletes who tested positive at the start of the year in results that forced WADA to conduct more research on the substance and extend “no fault findings” to athletes who tested positive for low concentrations of the drug.
Sharapova tested positive for the endurance-boosting drug at the Australian Open in Melbourne in January and is appealing her ban.
The Latvian-made drug was used in parts of eastern Europe to treat heart conditions but was not approved for use in the United States. It increases blood flow, which improves exercise capacity by carrying more oxygen to the muscles. There is significant debate among doping experts over whether meldonium, also known as mildronate, actually enhances performance.
WADA director general Olivier Niggli said the latest list was published after nine months of reviews.
“Experts examine such sources as: scientific and medical research; trends; and, intelligence gathered from law enforcement and pharmaceutical companies in order to stay ahead of those that wish to cheat,” Niggli said. “It is vital that all athletes take the necessary time to consult the list; and that they contact their respective anti-doping organizations if they have any doubts as to the status of a substance or method.”