(Reuters) – Nairo Quintana has denied using the banned substance tramadol after the Colombian rider was stripped of his sixth-place finish at this year’s Tour de France by cycling’s governing body (UCI) on Wednesday.
The pain medication is prohibited under UCI Medical Rules and banned only in competition. Its usage does not qualify as an anti-doping violation.
“I have learned with surprise of the UCI’s announcement of an infraction for the use of tramadol. I am totally unaware of the use of this substance, and I deny having used it in my career,” Quintana said in a statement on Twitter.
“With my team of lawyers, we are exhausting all the processes for my defence.”
Quintana, a former Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana winner, can appeal the verdict within the next 10 days but is free to compete in future races.
The Arkea-Samsic rider added that he intended to participate in this year’s Vuelta, which begins on Friday.
“I also want to confirm that I will stay at the Vuelta, get on my bike and give the best of my ability for my team, for my country and for my supporters,” the 32-year-old said.(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)