A group representing 48 professional cycling teams are set to discuss the banning of the painkiller tramadol.

The Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) is set to meet in Paris on Monday to discuss a complete ban of the controversial drug, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's 'watch list'. 

The MPCC, an organisation that voluntarily agrees to stricter guidelines than the WADA's rules, has been asking for tramadol to be banned by the world agency since 2013.

"We have no idea why it has not been banned already - WADA told me it was a priority in 2014 and now they say they are monitoring it again," MPCC president Roger Legeay told Press Association Sport.
WADA decided last month to keep tramadol on the monitoring list for 2017.

The agency is awaiting a three-year study by the University of Granada into the drug's effects on athletes to be completed next summer.

WADA's decision to wait came despite a request from the International Cycling Union (UCI) to prohibit the drug, which would mean athletes would need a therapeutic use exemption (TUE), or doctor's note, to take it for a legitimate reason.

MPCC teams, which include seven of the World Tour outfits, have already agreed not to use tramadol in competition but want to go further and control its use between races.

The narcotic-like medication is controversial and some members of the peloton believe its use has contributed to crashes.

"We all agree tramadol is dangerous in races so we are saying you can have it, but if you do you cannot race," Legeay said.

The 67-year-old Frenchman added that the MPCC teams, which do not include Team Sky, are considering a similar rule to the one they operate for cortisone injections, which would mean riders could not race for an agreed period after taking tramadol.

Legeay said that would require a check as quick and reliable as the blood tests the MPCC uses to monitor cortisol levels.

Riders on MPCC teams have been benched because of low cortisol on health grounds, as the hormone, which is suppressed by cortisone, is a natural anti-inflammatory vital in the body's response to injury.

Last week, former Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who has served a two-year drugs ban, told the BBC that tramadol was "offered freely around" when on Great Britain duty at the 2012 Road Cycling World Championships.

The 31-year-old Englishman said he did not take the drug because "it just didn't sit well with me at the time".

The team doctor from the event denies the claim, sources within British Cycling said.