The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed Nairo Quintana's appeal against his disqualification of results from the 2022 Tour de France after breaching an in-competition ban on painkiller tramadol during the event.
The UCI said at the time that it did "not constitute Anti-doping Rule Violations", adding that "as this is a first offence, Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas is not declared ineligible and can therefore participate in competitions". His results from the event were wiped though.
Quintana finished sixth at the Tour, 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.
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"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision today in the arbitration procedure between the Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana and the Union Cycliste International (UCI)," read the statement.
"The CAS Panel in charge of the matter has dismissed the appeal and confirmed the decision issued by the UCI Medical Director on 17 August 2022 (the Challenged Decision) in which Nairo Quintana was found to have infringed the UCI Medical Rules (presence of tramadol in competition) and was sanctioned with the disqualification of the results he obtained at the Tour de France 2022 and a fine of CHF 5,000.
"In July 2022, Nairo Quintana participated in the Tour de France finishing 6th in the general ranking. Laboratory analysis of the dried blood spot samples provided by him after the stages of 8 and 13 July 2022 revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites. On 17 August 2022, the UCI Medical Director issued the Challenged Decision.
"On 26 August 2022, Nairo Quintana filed an appeal at the CAS seeking the annulment of the Challenged Decision. The CAS Panel appointed to decide the matter held a hearing on 12 October 2022. Following the hearing, 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.
"The full award with the grounds for the Panel’s decision will be notified to the parties in due course."
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said that it welcomed the decision.
"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) welcomes today's decision rendered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirming the disqualification of Colombian rider Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas from the 2022 Tour de France for an infringement of the in-competition ban on using tramadol," read a statement on the UCI website.
"This decision reinforces the validity of the tramadol ban in the UCI Medical Regulations in order to protect the health and safety of riders.
"The UCI will make no further comment on this matter."
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