Nairo Quintana joins calls for ketones to be banned in cycling

Colombian says 'the more they ban them, the better for us'

Nairo Quintana
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nairo Quintana has become the latest pro rider to call for a ban on ketones, saying that they should be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned list, which would be "better" for cyclists.

The Colombian Arkéa-Samsic rider spoke to press in his home country, telling MARCA (opens in new tab)this week that he only believed in using "everything that is natural".

“For ketones, as many people call them, the more they ban them, the better for us,” Quintana said. “I agree with full-body health and with everything that is natural, and that’s my opinion.”

In recent years the use of ketones by the pro peloton has proved controversial, with some teams admitting to using them, while some riders have spoken out against them. 

Their use is not allowed for teams that are part of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), which notably does not include some of the biggest WorldTour squads, including Ineos Grenadiers, Jumbo-Visma, and UAE Team Emirates

Guillaume Martin, Arnaud Démare and Romain Bardet have all called for their restrictions. Last year, Thibaut Pinot said that he was shocked that young athletes could be tempted by their use. All these riders, including Quintana, are members of teams that are part of the MPCC.

Quintana has looked back to his best this year, winning a stage and the overall at both the Tour de la Provence and the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var.

In 2020, he and his brother Dayer, also an Arkéa rider, were questioned by police while two other people were arrested and later released after their team hotel was raided as part of a doping investigation during the Tour de France.

The Colombian also spoke about the danger of time trial bikes, following recent comments by Chris Froome. The Israel-Premier Tech rider said that time trials should be raced on road bikes to improve safety.

“They cannot be prohibited or changed,” Quintana said of time trial bikes. “Finally, it’s the technology and that’s what’s happening. It would be like if Formula 1 cars were banned, but those [race] cars have their own roads for training and racing.”

“We must find safer routes and roads for training,” Quintana said. “Finally, each person decides where they train, and the ‘crono’ bike is a spectacle. There are time trial specialists who never win in the mountains or in the sprints, but they are very good at that discipline.

“So they cannot be banned. Technology keeps advancing and we have to be more cautious.”

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