CAS upholds Quintana’s disqualification from 2022 Tour de France

Nairo Quintana

Nairo Quintana has had his appeal against the disqualification of his 2022 Tour de France result rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Quintana originally finished 6th when the race finished on the Champs Elysees in Paris but had his result stripped when testing showed evidence of tramadol in his system. Tramadol is an opiate painkiller that has been banned on medical grounds from cycling. It was thought to be responsible for crashes in the peloton and a risk to the health and well-being of the riders. The painkiller is not considered to be performance-enhancing in an anti-doping sense, however, with punishments different. If Quintana had tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, he would be expecting a ban of at least 4 years.

A former Grand Tour winner, Quintana was disqualified after analysis of two dried blood samples showed evidence of tramadol and its pair of main metabolites. Nairo Quintana maintains that he didn’t take tramadol but will have his result removed nonetheless after his appeal was dismissed. The case saw Quintana withdraw from the Vuelta a Espana in August and he has now left the Arkea-Samsic team too.

“The panel deliberated and determined that the UCI’s in-competition ban on tramadol was for medical rather than doping reasons and was therefore within the UCI’s power and jurisdiction. Furthermore, the Panel was comfortably satisfied that the scientific evidence showed that Nairo Quintana’s samples contained both tramadol and its two metabolites.

On this basis, the panel concluded that the challenged decision should stand, and dismissed the appeal. This decision reinforces the validity of the tramadol ban in the UCI Medical Regulations in order to protect the health and safety of riders.”

Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) statement

Quintana finished second in the Tour de France in 2013 and 2015, won both times by Chris Froome. Quintana won the 2014 Giro d’Italia and 2016 Vuelta a Espana.

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