Nairo Quintana disqualified from 2022 Tour de France after tramadol positive

The Colombian rider Nairo Quintana has been disqualified from the 2022 Tour de France after infringing an in-competition ban on using the drug tramadol, the world cycling governing body (UCI) said on Wednesday.

Quintana finished sixth in the general classification for Team Arkea-Samsic in last month’s Tour, but analysis of two dried blood samples revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites.

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“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,” said a UCI statement.

“As this is a first offence, Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas is not declared ineligible and can therefore participate in competitions.”

Since 2019, using tramadol has been an offence under the UCI Medical Rules due to the side-effects of the substance that include dizziness, drowsiness and loss of attention. Testing positive for tramadol does not constitute a doping violation.

Tramadol has frequently been used by professional cyclists in the past – figures from UK Anti-Doping state that between 2012 and 2019, 4.4% of in-competition tests showed the use of the painkiller, while 68% of urine samples that contained Tramadol, from across 35 Olympic sports, were from cyclists.

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