Pair freed after questioning in Tour de France doping probe

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LE PECQ, France — Two people questioned in a Tour de France doping probe around the team of former runner-up Nairo Quintana have been released without charge, a French prosecutor said Wednesday.

Police released the pair, a doctor and a physiotherapist, on Tuesday night, Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens said in a statement. Police took them in for questioning on Monday.

The prosecutor said the investigation itself remains open, with more police work to be done before any decision on whether to proceed further.

Colombian rider Quintana, runner-up in 2013 and 2015 but 17th this year, has denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement late Tuesday, he said police who searched his hotel room after a Tour stage in the Alps found only “perfectly legal” vitamin supplements.

He said it is taking time to clear up misunderstandings about the products, because officers weren’t immediately familiar with them.

Quintana said French officials questioned him Monday, the day after the Tour finished in Paris, and that he responded voluntarily to the summons. He said he answered all questions “clearly and with a clear conscience.”

He said no doping products were found in the search of the hotel in Meribel, the finish of the very tough Alpine Stage 17, and that he has never doped.

CAS upholds Nairo Quintana DQ from Tour de France for opioid use

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The disqualification of two-time Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana from his sixth place in the 2022 race for misuse of an opioid was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS said its judges dismissed Quintana’s appeal and agreed with the International Cycling Union that the case was a medical matter rather than a doping rules violation. He will not be banned.

The court said the judges ruled “the UCI’s in-competition ban on tramadol was for medical rather than doping reasons and was therefore within the UCI’s power and jurisdiction.”

Traces of the synthetic painkiller tramadol were found in two dried blood spot samples taken from the Colombian racer five days apart in July, the UCI previously said.

Quintana’s case is among the first to rely on the dried blood spot (DBS) method of collecting samples which the World Anti-Doping Agency approved last year.

Tramadol was banned in 2019 from use at cycling races because of potential side effects. They include the risk of addiction, dizziness, drowsiness and loss of attention.

Quintana finished second in the Tour de France in 2013 and 2015, won both times by Chris Froome. He won the 2014 Giro d’Italia.

Filippo Ganna breaks cycling’s hour world record

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GRENCHEN, Switzerland — Time trial specialist Filippo Ganna broke cycling’s hour record when he covered 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes.

The Italian extended the record by more than 1.2 kilometers, the biggest jump in seven years.

Asked to describe the pain of the last five minutes, he said, “I lost energy to try to go for 57, but nothing (in the legs).”

He said he was open to another attempt at a different time of the season, when he was fresher.

Ganna took the record from British teammate Dan Bigham, who made his mark at the same Swiss velodrome on Aug. 19.