The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the Colombian rider Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas has been sanctioned for an infringement of the in-competition ban on using tramadol as set out in the UCI Medical Rules with the aim of protecting the safety and health of riders in light of the side-effects of this substance.
The analyses of two dried blood samples provided by the rider on 8 and 13 July during the 2022 Tour de France revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites.
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.
During the 2022 Tour de France, a total of 120 dried blood samples were collected as part of the tramadol programme.
Infringements of the in-competition ban on using tramadol are offences under the UCI Medical Rules. They do not constitute Anti-doping Rule Violations. As this is a first offence, Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas is not declared ineligible and can therefore participate in competitions.
The UCI will not comment further on the matter.
About the ban on tramadol
Since 1st March 2019, the UCI has banned the use of tramadol in competition across all disciplines and categories in order to protect the riders’ health and safety in light of the side-effects of this substance.
Samples are collected by the International Testing Agency (ITA) using the Dried Blood Spots (DBS) reference method. Developed by the Swiss company DBS Systems, sampling kits are used to conduct this minimally invasive test, which involves collecting a small amount of blood from the rider's fingertip.
The analysis of the samples is conducted independently at the Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Geneva University, using a peer review method to determine the presence or absence and amount of tramadol and its two main metabolites. The results are then submitted to the University of Lausanne’s Centre of Research and Expertise in Anti-Doping Sciences (REDs) for a final independent review.
The results are finally submitted to the UCI Medical Director, who conducts the results management in accordance with the UCI Medical Rules.
The regulation concerning the ban on tramadol can be consulted here.