The 2021 Tour De France was filled with a lot of emotions and surprises, and the World Anti-Doping Agency plans to investigate the drug Tizanidine that was discovered when they were getting hair samples from a team hotel. The request was made by the French Police and researchers in Strasbourg are carrying out the investigation.
To be clear, Tizanidine (Also referred to as Zanaflex) is not a banned substance, but there is not enough research into it. The Institute of Forensic Medicine in Strasbourg just revealed how they created the hair test but that’s it, they took seven samples of hair test and they found the drug in three of them, this was during the 2021 Tour De France which went on for three weeks.
Marseille prosecutor’s office made the statement as the investigation concerned the possible,
Acquisition, transportation, possession, and importing of a prohibited substance or method for use by an athlete without justification by members of Team Bahrain Victorious.
Team Bahrain Victorious confirmed that the hotel their team was living in was indeed raided by the police, and the rider’s hair was tested.
The Team made the following statement,
The Team would like to stress that the authors of the scientific article to which all allegations refer have unambiguously pointed out that tizanidine is not a prohibited substance in sport.
There is still not a lot of information regarding Tizanidine that can stress any kind of verdict but now proper research will be carried out. They are indeed used to ease muscle pain but what is the exact reason for them being used, what are the advantages and disadvantages of usage? All of these questions will be answered soon enough.
Olivier Rabin (Scientific Director Of WADA) made the following statement,
It is not a substance considered to be prohibited at this time. That said, in view of the latest events, we have put it on the agenda of the ‘list committee’ for the month of January. (Courtesy of L’Equipe)
We do not know this substance too well because it is used for therapeutic purposes. By looking at its profile we can legitimately ask ourselves the question of what the doping purposes could be.
Although the drug is not banned yet, and there is not enough research to back up any kind of verdict, athletes could be using the drug because of its side effects as it could affect performance. The various side effects of using the drug are stomach pain, hallucinations, and dizziness.
Rabin further explained,
We mustn’t overlook the fact that some of the people who help athletes perform at a higher level are subject to pressure to try to find solutions, to bring about new things, without there being any scientific rationality behind them.
We want to have a 360-degree view, including what could be doping use. We look at the pharmacy-safety files of molecules where the doses are higher, where the side effects are exacerbated because we have sometimes seen that the side effects of a drug could be sought for doping purposes. And that allows us to reflect on a substance. Today, this work is in progress. We’ll discuss it with the expert committee.
Sometimes substances can jump out at us and we include them very quickly. Regarding Tizanidine, we are entitled to ask certain questions.
There is a long list of banned drugs in sports, and WADA constantly updates its list. They also do research regarding the medicines and drugs that help fight against doping in sports. The necessary research regarding Tizanidine will be made.
Featured Image Via Twitter/@wada_ama