AG2R Citroën rider disqualified from Giro d'Italia after tramadol positive

Alex Baudin has results stripped but is not suspended from racing

Alex Baudin
(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

AG2R Citroën's Alex Baudin has been retroactively disqualified from the Giro d'Italia after two dried blood samples from the Frenchman revealed the presence of the banned painkiller tramadol.

Consequently, his results from the Italian Grand Tour, which included a 10th place on stage 12 from Bra to Rivoli, have now been stripped. As it was the 22-year-old's first infraction, and the positive test does not amount to an anti-doping violation, he can continue to cycle.

Baudin spent two days in the break at this year's Giro, on stage 12 and 19. 2023 was his first year as a WorldTour professional with AG2R. He finished 29th at Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa on Saturday.

Tramadol is a strong painkiller, available either as an injection or orally, and has been banned by the UCI since March 2019 due to side-effects the drug can cause. These include nausea, dizziness, indigestion, vertigo, vomiting, constipation and drowsiness. 

It is a similar case to the one which saw Nairo Quintana stripped of his Tour de France results last year, a saga which ended with the Colombian leaving his then Arkéa-Samsic team and being unable to secure a contract for this year.

A statement from cycling's governing body, the UCI, said Baudin had been "sanctioned for an infringement of the in-competition ban on using tramadol... with the aim of protecting the safety and health of riders in view of the side-effects of this substance".

It added: "The analyses of two dried blood samples provided by the rider on 24 May on the 17th stage of the 2023 Giro d’Italia revealed the presence of tramadol and its two main metabolites.

"In accordance with the UCI Medical Rules, and after a thorough examination of the case, the rider is disqualified from the 2023 Giro d’Italia. This decision may be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within the next 10 days."

The governing body added that during the 2023 Giro d’Italia, a total of 64 dried blood samples were collected as part of the tramadol programme.

It continued: "Infringements of the in-competition ban on using tramadol are offences under the UCI Medical Rules. They do not constitute Anti-doping Rule Violations. As this is a first offence, Alex Baudin is not declared ineligible and can therefore participate in competitions.

"The UCI will not comment further on the matter."

AG2R Citroën declined to comment when contacted on Monday afternoon.

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.