As Utah’s Bicycle Lawyers, we are passionate about safe and responsible cycling. One issue that is important to be aware of is the danger of combining cycling and medication. Recently, the painkiller tramadol has come into the cycling spotlight. Though the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has not banned this opioid, but many professional cyclists would like them to. Evidence shows that many cyclists use tramadol as a performance enhancing drug. This raises the question, “what are the dangers of mixing cycling with medication?” This post discusses some of the basics of this question.
History of Cycling and Medication
Cycling and medication abuse have a long and complex history. It reaches all the way back to 1886, to the overdose death of world champion cyclist Arthur Linton. Since the 1920s, some riders have used drugs like strychnine, cocaine, and amphetamines to give themselves a boost. This resulted in numerous deaths and overdoses, but no bans were instituted. In the 1960 Olympics, a Danish cyclist died from using stimulants. But still, there was no ban on dangerous performance-enhancing drugs.
When the Tour de France started drug testing in 1966, many cyclists protested. Of course, such testing continued, and harsher penalties for doping are evident in recent years. Lance Armstrong was famously stripped of 7 Tour de France titles for doping.
The Tramadol Issue
Today, the controversial drug is tramadol. Many people consider tramadol a mild opioid, but it is still addictive. The most potentially dangerous side effects for cyclists are drowsiness and disorientation. These effects can easily lead to crashes. Professional cyclists are concerned that this drug is showing up more often in drug tests.
It seems that WADA wants to take some time before making a decision on tramadol, and for now it remains legal in cycling. However, mixing these types of medication and cycling is highly dangerous, and just because it is legal does not make it advisable.
Utah Bicycle Lawyers
Utah’s Bicycle Lawyers represent injured cyclists in accident cases. We strive to serve the cycling community because we love cycling ourselves, and hope to make it safe and accessible for as many people as possible. If you are interested in learning more about bicycle accident law in Utah, order a free copy of our book, The Utah Bicycle Accident Handbook.
We also offer free initial consultations to injured cyclists who think they may have a case. We will give you accurate and honest legal advice with no strings attached. If you are interested in a consultation, please contact us today!
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