CAS upholds Nairo Quintana DQ from Tour de France for opioid use

CAS said its judges dismissed Quintana’s appeal and agreed with the International Cycling Union that the case was a medical matter rather than a doping rules violation. He will not be banned.

FILE PHOTO: Colombia’s Nairo Quintana crosses the finish line to win the second stage of the 2019 La Vuelta cycling tour of Spain, a 1996 km race from Benidorm to Calpe, on August 25, 2019, in Calpe. 

FILE PHOTO: Colombia’s Nairo Quintana crosses the finish line to win the second stage of the 2019 La Vuelta cycling tour of Spain, a 1996 km race from Benidorm to Calpe, on August 25, 2019, in Calpe.  | Photo Credit: AFP

CAS said its judges dismissed Quintana’s appeal and agreed with the International Cycling Union that the case was a medical matter rather than a doping rules violation. He will not be banned.

The disqualification of two-time Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana from his sixth place in the 2022 race for misuse of an opioid was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday.

CAS said its judges dismissed Quintana’s appeal and agreed with the International Cycling Union that the case was a medical matter rather than a doping rules violation. He will not be banned.

The court said the judges ruled “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.”

Traces of the synthetic painkiller tramadol were found in two dried blood spot samples taken from the Colombian racer five days apart in July, the UCI previously said.

Quintana’s case is among the first to rely on the dried blood spot (DBS) method of collecting samples which the World Anti-Doping Agency approved last year.

Tramadol was banned in 2019 from use at cycling races because of potential side effects. They include the risk of addiction, dizziness, drowsiness and loss of attention.

Quintana finished second in the Tour de France in 2013 and 2015, won both times by Chris Froome. He won the 2014 Giro d’Italia.

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