Op-Ed: On WADA's Decision to Drop Alcohol from its Annual Prohibited Substances List and an Open Question.   

There was really no reason for alarm when we learned that WADA had dropped alcohol from the annual updated list of substances which it will test for.

Per WADA: (it has now been determined that) “as alcohol can be tested easily using breathalyzers, it does not necessarily need a WADA laboratory.” 

It further added that: “This change means that sports will have the flexibility to control alcohol, including setting a zero-tolerance policy; i.e. they will be able to regulate alcohol outside of WADA anti-doping rules and regulations.”

WADA’s release of October 1st notes some significant changes to its lists including  the substances that have been dropped in such as “cannabidiol”, a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits (WADA).

WADA’s Executive Committee approved the changes three months before they take effect Jan. 1, 2018. To date, alcohol has been banned in four sports: air, automobile, archery and power boating and Cannabidiol was also removed from the prohibited list - unless it contains THC - the psychoactive component of marijuana.

Meldonium, a heart medication that led to the banning of a number of athletes including tennis star Maria Sharapova when it was added to the list, remains for 2018. WADA admitted after it was added that more research was required to ascertain how long the substance should remain in the human body

The substance bemitil has been added to the WADA monitoring list in and out of competition, while the opioid pain killer hydrocodone will be monitored in competition.

Mitragynine and telmisartan were removed from the monitoring list but caffeine, nicotine, tramadol, glucocorticoids, and beta-2-agonists continue to be assessed.

At the end, the list continues to be accessible to everyone, and in case of doubts, WADA has 24/7 support available by calling the ADAMS Helpdesk:

North America: 1 866 922 3267
International: +1 514 904 8800
Email: adams@wada-ama.org

One remaining question: as WADA has become very efficient in the fight against doping, when will we see a similar organization leading a fight against abuse of all kinds - from physical abuse by coaches to sexual abuse of minors, and beyond - in sports?

Alfredo La Mont, CEO, The USA Sports Council