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Ukrainian rider disqualified from road worlds after tramadol control

The UCI said it carried out 32 controls for tramadol during the Wollongong worlds.

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A rider representing Ukraine is disqualified from the UCI Road World Championships in September after testing for traces of tramadol in the individual time trial, the UCI confirmed Wednesday.

Mykhaylo Kononenko, 35, rode the men’s time trial and the mixed team time trial for Ukraine, but saw his 43rd place in the TT scratched from the results sheet.

“The analysis of a dried blood sample provided by the rider on 18 September 2022 during the 2022 UCI Road World Championships revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites,” the UCI said Wednesday.

The UCI said it carried out 32 controls for tramadol during the Wollongong worlds. So far, this is the only confirmed case.

The UCI banned tramadol in competition in 2019, but the opioid painkiller will not be on the WADA banned list until 2024.

As a result, tramadol cases are not considered anti-doping violations, so only the rider does not face additional sanctions or other disciplinary action, and is free to continue competition.

Tramadol is back in the headlines following the high-profile case involving Nairo Quintana, who finished sixth in the 2022 Tour de France only to see his results scrapped after testing for tramadol in two samples, the UCI said.

Quintana recently lost his appeal to overturn the ruling in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Here is the full UCI statement:

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the Ukrainian rider Mykhaylo Kononenko 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 analysis of a dried blood sample provided by the rider on 18 September 2022 during the 2022 UCI Road World Championships revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites.

In accordance with the UCI Medical Rules, the rider is disqualified from the 2022 UCI Road World Championships. This decision may be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within the next 10 days.

During the 2022 UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong (Australia), a total of 32 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, Mykhaylo Kononenko is not declared ineligible and can therefore participate in competitions.