Colombian Nairo Quintana finished 6th in this year’s Tour de France but has retroactively had that result taken away. The UCI released a statement today noting that Quintana had been disqualified from the Tour de France after infringing an in-competition ban by using Tramadol. The drug is an opiate that was rumoured to be the cause for a spate of crashes in the peloton and widespread use by Team Sky and others around 2014. Tramadol was finally banned from use in-competition at the start of the 2019 season. The UCI tested 177 riders in the first 2 months of the ban that year but all tests then were negative.
“In accordance with the UCI Medical Rules, the rider is disqualified from the 2022 Tour de France. This decision may be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within the next 10 days.
As this is a first offence, Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas is not declared ineligible and can therefore participate in competitions.”UCI
Because tramadol isn’t a banned substance, like say EPO, Nairo Quintana will not be banned for any length of time. The result is merely the expunging of his Tour de France result. This is because the drug is only an offence under the UCI Medical Rules. Large due to the side-effects which include drowsiness and loss of attention, not ideal whilst riding in a peloton of up to 200 riders.
Quintana returned 2 positive tests on dried blood samples, taken at two different stages of the Tour de France. The Colombian has lodged an appeal already, as set out per the UCI statement above.
“Today I was surprised to learn of the announcement by the UCI of an infraction for the use of tramadol. I am completely unaware of the use of this substance and I deny having used it in my career.
With my team of lawyers we are exhausting all the processes to assume my defense. I also want to ratify that I will be in the Vuelta a España, riding my bike giving the best of me for my team, my country and my fans.”Nairo Quintana