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UCI To Ban Corticosteroids Even With TUE

Recently-elected International Cycling Union (UCI) President David Lappartient has proposed that corticosteroids could be banned by the start of the 2019 season.

Bradley Wiggins of Britain is among riders who have admitted in the past of obtaining a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) to use the drugs. The cyclist received shots of Triamcinolone acetonide before the Tour de France in 2011 and 2012 and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. It is the same corticosteroid that Lance Armstrong tested positive for during the 1999 Tour de France. However, the disgraced former professional cyclist escaped punishment after he obtained a backdated TUE.

Convicted drugs cheats David Millar and Michael Rasmussen have claimed that Triamcinolone acetonide provides substantial performance-boosting effects.

Triamcinolone acetonide, the topical corticosteroid, is medically prescribed to relieve skin inflammation, redness, itching, and dryness. It is about eight times as potent as Prednisone and a more potent derivative of Triamcinolone. The synthetic halogenated cyclic ketal pregnane corticosteroid has been used to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. It is also used to treat eye diseases, intestinal problems, allergies, arthritis, and skin diseases.

Presently, riders of teams that are signed to the Movement for Credible Cycling are prevented from competing with a therapeutic use exemption. The UCI President, who defeated Brian Cookson by a huge margin of 37-8, now wants to extend the sanction to every rider. Last month, Lappartient had pledged to impose a ban on corticosteroids during his election campaign.

The UCI President remarked he wants to put corticosteroids on the list of prohibited substances. Lappartient had remarked in the past that he extends his support for measures taken by the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) to curb doping. The Frenchman had applauded the efforts of the MPCC and previously commented that we must continue to push for WADA to include Tramadol and corticosteroids on the list of prohibited substances. Lappartient had also remarked that independent scientific studies have demonstrated the risk of having a low cortisol level. He had also commented that a rider, who requires cortisone treatment for an illness, must be put on sick leave and must not take part in competitions until the cortisol levels are back to normal.

In March, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced it had established an expert group to consider a blanket ban on the use of corticosteroids. Formed in January, the WADA group is also exploring the medical conditions for which a therapeutic use exemption can be requested to administer Triamcinolone. UK Anti-Doping chief executive Nicole Sapstead had then applauded decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency to set-up the group.

Sapstead had remarked the group is in a great position to carry the piece of research forward and take a holistic view of the situation. The UKAD chief executive had also commented she has no idea how corticosteroids are used other than for athletes from the United Kingdom and therefore the WADA group is in a great position to see it from an international perspective. The 2018 Prohibited List was published in September and Triamcinolone was made a prohibited substance when administered by oral, intravenous, intramuscular, or rectal routes.

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Albert Wolfgang
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