UCI disqualifies Nairo Quintana from the Tour after testing positive for Tramadol
Tramadol was found in the anti-doping controls carried out on Nairo Quintana on 8 and 13 July, in the middle of the Tour de France. The UCI has announced that the Colombian rider has been disqualified from the Tour de France although the sanction for this substance does not entail suspension and it will depend on his team the line-up in the 8th of La Vuelta a España.
Nairo Quintana sanctioned with Tour de France disqualification, could ride La Vuelta
With just two days to go until the start of La Vuelta a España, alarm bells have gone off within Arkéa-Samsic following the announcement by the International Cycling Union of the positive result of the anti-doping tests carried out on Nairo Quintana during the Tour de France 2022.
The samples were collected, according to the UCI statement, on 8 and 13 July, corresponding to the stages finishing on the Planche des Belles Filles and Col du Granon respectively. As a result, the highest cycling body has decreed the immediate disqualification of Nairo Quintana from the Tour de France in which he finished 6th after a hard-fought performance.
The substance found in the analysis is none other than the famous Tramadol, an opioid analgesic whose use was widespread not only in cycling but also in other sports to treat pain caused by the intense physical activity required by competitive sport and injuries.
However, in 2019, the UCI, independently of the World Anti-Doping Agency, decided to unilaterally ban the consumption of Tramadol by including it on its list of banned substances. The reason: the side effects of this painkiller, which include drowsiness, loss of attention and dependence, effects that had been blamed by some for the increase in the number of crashes in competition.
Nevertheless, as it is not a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, the sanction imposed by the UCI is limited to expulsion, in this case, having finished the Tour de France, disqualification from the race and the loss of the 455 UCI points that Nairo Quintana won in that race. Being the first adverse result with Tramadol, the sanction does not entail suspension, so Nairo Quintana could still take part in La Vuelta a España 2022. In the case of a repeat offence, he would receive a sanction of 5 months, which would be 9 months in the case of a subsequent repeat offence.
In any case, his team, the French team Arkéa-Samsic, with whom Nairo Quintana had just renewed his contract for the next three seasons, has not yet commented on the internal effects that the news of the Colombian rider's positive test could have.
In fact, Arkéa-Samsic is a member of the Movement for Credible Cycling and a couple of seasons ago, following the searches carried out by the French police on Nairo Quintana in 2020, team manager Emmanuel Hubert made a strong statement: "Obviously we support our riders, but if it turns out that at the end of the current investigation, the elements confirm the veracity of doping practices, the team would immediately dissociate itself from such acts and would take without waiting the necessary measures to end the links that could unite them with unacceptable and always opposed methods" so we will have to wait to know what measures the French team takes in this case.