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Ketum-power has been widely used in Le Tour de France for recovery as well as endurance purpose. (REUTERS)

KETUM-POWER has been widely used in Le Tour de France for recovery as well as endurance purpose.

Yes, you read it right.

Jumbo-Visma team boss Richard Plugge confirmed that his squad have been using ketones, a “miracle drink” that aids in recovery at the ongoing Tour de France, where the Dutch team have so far won four stages.

Plugge noted that the substance, which is used just like other vitamins, is not on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA’s) prohibited list.

Seven of the 22 squads who competed at last year’s Tour de France were reported to have benefited from its use, reported

National Anti-Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas) deputy director Nishel Kumar confirmed that ketum is not on WADA’s check list.

However, he can’t vouch for its benefits.

“Yes, ketum is not on the WADA radar and so athletes can use it.

“But I have no idea if it helps or is detrimental to an athlete’s performance in sport.”

When asked what if a Malaysian athlete uses the readily available ketum pills and breaks the national 100m mark, Nishel said that the record will stand.

“If a ketum user breaks the national 100m record... after testing, it will be ratified as a valid record.”

A call to the Health Ministry indicated that using ketum for personal consumption is not illegal.

“You can go to our website and read an article on abuse of ketum leaves (

“Although there are medicinal benefits and one can use it for personal reasons, there is no research conclusive enough to indicate that it can actually enhance athletes’ performance (in sports).

“Ketum is only known to help reduce or stop pain so far (in athletes),” said a ministry official, who has given numerous talks about ketum to athletes but who declined to be named.

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