Cycling: Quintana pulls out of Vuelta after Tour disqualification

Nairo Quintana tested positive for the banned substance tramadol. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Colombian rider Nairo Quintana has pulled out of the Vuelta a Espana, which starts on Friday (Aug 19), after having his Tour de France results nullified following positive tests for the banned substance tramadol, the 32-year-old said on Thursday.

A former Giro d'Italia and Vuelta winner, Quintana, who finished sixth in the general classification in last month's Tour, was disqualified on Wednesday after analysis of two dried blood samples revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites.

Quintana, who rides for Team Arkea-Samsic, had said after the tramadol news that he intended to participate in the Vuelta.

But he released a video on Instagram in which he reversed his decision despite still being allowed to race.

"A few hours have gone by and I've been able to reflect during the night and, for now, neither my head nor my body are in the right place to race competitively," said Quintana, who will fight his case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Tramadol, a pain medication, is prohibited under global cycling body UCI's Medical Rules and banned only in competition.

Its usage does not qualify as an anti-doping violation. Quintana has denied using it.

"Though I said yesterday I'd do the Vuelta, I'm still not in the right condition and I prefer to return home and organise and prepare my defence," he said.

"About the notification that I had yesterday - I will be working during these 10 days to show I have no problem and we'll meet again in forthcoming competitions."

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