Nairo Quintana has left Arkea-Samsic as he fights to clear his name after breaching an in-competition ban on painkiller tramadol.
The Colombian, who only signed a three-year extension with the team in August, was wiped from the Tour de France 2022 results after the positive test. However, the UCI said it was not a breach of anti-doping rules, and he was free to continue competing.
Instead, Quintana skipped La Vuelta to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and has now left Arkea-Samsic as he awaits a verdict.
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“I want to thank the Arkea-Samsic team for these three years spent with ups and downs, but to which I was able to bring my experience,” he said.
“I will keep you informed of my future in the next few weeks and prove what an honest rider I am.
“I filed an appeal with CAS and I continue to work with my lawyers. I'm optimistic because I'm an honest person, I haven't done anything wrong, [or] illegal and I'm going to defend myself.”
Quintana finished sixth at the Tour de France, 16’33” off overall winner Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma). It was his best performance at a Grand Tour since the 2019 Vuelta, where he came fourth.
"I am totally unaware of the use of this substance, and I deny having used it in my career," said Quintana after the announcement.
He has won the Giro d’Italia (2014), La Vuelta (2016) and finished on the Tour podium three times.
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