Nairo Quintana, winner of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana, has decided to focus efforts on defending his innocence against UCI sanctions brought forward from multiple positive tests for tramadol in mid-July. For those looking to read more on the sanctions, we wrote an article covering the entire case yesterday.
Nairo Quintana and the rest of Arkéa–Samsic at Stage 3 of the Tour de France.
Quintana was given 10 days to file arbitration against the sanctions. However, the Vuelta begins today, August 19th. Focusing efforts on a legal defense means that the rider had to surrender his registration for the event.
Even though Quintana will not be attending the Vuelta, he intends to still participate in events throughout the end of the road cycling season, “I communicate that I will not participate in the Vuelta to assert my reasons before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), I will return to the calendar races at the end of the season."
Both the UCI and Arkéa–Samsic left very short statements on the matter, largely summarized by stating that they will not make any further comments.
It is also worth noting that tramadol is not a banned substance by WADA, but was banned in 2019 by UCI over concerns that it could be abused in competition. Tramadol is a prescription-only synthetic opioid painkiller.