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Nairo Quintana on the CAS tramadol ruling: ‘My conscience is clear’

Quintana facing uncertain future in wake of appeal denial: 'Life goes on, the storm will pass, and we continue looking forward.'

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Nairo Quintana insists he did not take tramadol during the 2022 Tour de France despite this week’s CAS denial of his appeal on the UCI case.

The Colombian star, now without a contract for the 2023 season, continues to deny taking tramadol.

“Throughout my career I have had more than 300 anti-doping controls, giving more or less three controls per month, and I have never had a problem with doping,” Quintana said in a message posted on his social media channels.

“I did not take this substance,” he said of tramadol, the opioid painkiller at the center of the controversial case.

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Quintana, 32, tested positive twice for traces of tramadol in his system during the course of the 2022 Tour, when he finished sixth overall.

The UCI prohibited the use of the powerful painkiller during competition, and WADA will add it to its ban list in 2024.

Because it was not on the WADA list during the Tour, Quintana saw his Tour results disqualified, but he does not face other sanctions or bans, and is free to race.

The UCI released the results of the controls in early August, and Quintana skipped a planned start of the Vuelta a España to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Quintana: ‘Life goes on, the storm will pass, and we continue looking forward’

CAS this week let the UCI ruling stand, and Quintana promised to offer his take of events.

“Unfortunately things turned out as they did,” Quintana said. “I will later comment on the entire situation, the day to day of how things happened, and how we presented our defense and the CAS appeal.”

Just days before the UCI revealed the infraction, Arkéa-Samsic announced a new three-year deal with Quintana, but the team later confirmed that he will not continue with the French team.

Without a contract for 2023, this latest news will be a blow to Quintana’s chances of securing a deal with a major team for 2023.

Quintana tried to remain philosophical about his quandary,

“Life goes on, the storm will pass, and we continue looking forward,” Quintana said. “I have a beautiful family, I have my country, and I have great friends who support me. I am grateful for that.

“My conscience is clear,” Quintana said. “We’re not done with this yet. I raised my hand to defend myself, and that’s what I am doing. I am going to keep pedaling. I have so many reasons to not take a banned substance.”