A drug bust on Monday at the Hamad International Airport led to the seizure of 1,990 tramadol pills and about 464 grams of hashish. Qatar authorities confirmed this as its first drug bust during the FIFA World Cup 2022. The male passenger seemed suspicious and had customs officers ask the man to present his luggage for inspection.  

According to Sport Bible, the passenger and his luggage will be presented to the public prosecutor to determine the consequences of his offense. The U.K. government’s travel advice to football fans flying into Qatar is a firm “zero tolerance on drugs”, whether this may be through smuggling, trafficking or possession. Punishment for such offenses will range from deportation, heavy fines lengthy detention or even the death penalty. The nationality of the passenger was not revealed.

New airport scanners have been installed at the airport which customs officials claimed can detect even residual amounts of drugs in a person’s luggage. As the games kicked off on Sunday night, Qatar authorities have geared up for over one million football fans coming into the Gulf state to witness the month-long tournament which comes to a close in December. With strict drug laws in place and a list of other prohibited materials that also include, porn material, sex toys, as well as other religious books, and pork products, fans can still have some fun as drinking would still be allowed in hotels. However, the damper on this would be the stiff cover charges to get into bars and the pricey drinks.

Other party drugs such as Xanax and Valium will not be allowed without a doctor’s thorough report and prescription as these are classified as prohibited narcotics. Tramadol is listed as an addictive synthetic opiate classified as a painkiller and is set to fall into the list of banned narcotics in 2024 by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The use of tramadol has already been prohibited in cycling. Former Liverpool goalie Chris Kirkland expressed his concern about the delay in implementing the ban on tramadol as he confessed his near-suicide attempts at the height of his addiction to painkillers. Kirkland revealed he was taking 2,500 mg of tramadol a day between 2012 and 2015. The daily recommended dose for the drug is 400mg.

qatar-airways-867776_960_720 Representation Image Qatar Airways cargo plane on runway WikiMediaImages/ Pixabay