UCI statement on the award rendered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the case of Nairo Quintana

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.

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.

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.