The UCI have disqualified Ukrainian rider Mykhaylo Kononenko from the results of the men’s road World Championships after a dried blood sample revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites.
The UCI revealed that 32 dried blood samples were collected as part of the tramadol programme at the 2022 World Championships in Wollongong, Australia.
35-year-old Kononenko has ridden for a number of Continental teams during his 16-year career. He rode for the Turkish Sakarya BB Pro Team in 2022 and won a stage and the overall classification at the Tour of Sakarya. He finished 43rd in the elite men’s road race in Wollongong and was also part of the Ukraine team that finished 12th in the Team Relay event.
The powerful painkiller is not classified as a performance-enhancing drug but has been banned by the UCI since March 2019.
The rules mean any rider returning a positive result for the substance during a race via a blood droplet test is disqualified from the competition where the positive was discovered, while a second offence carries a five-month ban. WADA has recently announced that tramadol will become a banned substance from 2024.
Kononenko now has ten days to decide whether to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, he will be aware that Nairo Quintana recently lost his appeal to CAS.
The Colombian climber tested positive twice for tramadol during the Tour de France, where he finished sixth overall but lost those results. CAS determined that 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.