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Nairo Quintana: I don't have anything to hide

Nairo Quintana Tour de France 2020 stage 18 La Roche-sur-Foron Arkea Samsic
Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) during stage 18 of the 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Nairo Quintana has released a statement addressing the French police investigation into him and his team, Arkéa-Samsic, stating that he has nothing to hide and noting that no doping substances were found in raids carried out on the team's hotel during the Tour de France.

On Monday, the day after the Tour finished, it was announced that the Central Office for Combating Environmental and Public Health Damage (OCLAESP) had raided the squad's hotel rooms after stage 17 to the Col de la Loze, finding "100ml of saline and injection equipment". Later in the day, news emerged that two team staff members – a soigneur and doctor – had been taken into preliminary custody.

Nairo and his brother Dayer both voluntarily attended police interviews as the Marseille prosecutor's office confirmed the formal opening of an investigation into a "small part" of the team.

Prosecutor Dominique Laurens referred to "discovery of many health products including drugs (...) and especially a method that could be qualified as doping."

Late on Tuesday night, Quintana released a statement to social media giving his side of the story. The 30-year-old, who finished 17th in Paris, said that the police had seized "perfectly legal" vitamin supplements, adding that no doping substances were found during the raid.

"The French gendarmerie carried out an operation in the hotel where my team was staying on Wednesday 16th September in Meribel, after the stage of the Tour de France had finished," Quintana wrote.

"On that day the authorities entered my room and seized vitamin supplements that were perfectly legal, although perhaps not familiar to the French authorities. This is the main reason why it has taken time to clear up everything that happened.

"To avoid any doubt, I would like to confirm that no doping substances were ever found."

Quintana's long-time soigneur, Mikel Otero, and Fredy Alexander González Torres, a doctor reportedly called up by the team as a replacement, remained in custody on Tuesday, according to report by Le Parisien.

In his statement, Quintana stressed that the French authorities had not accused him of anything and noted that he and his brother attended the interview on a voluntary basis.  

"I would also like to clear up a misunderstanding: neither during the recent Tour, nor during any other previous race, I have never consulted assistants or staff who were not part of the team. I do not have, and have never had, anything to hide," Quintana wrote.

"Yesterday, by appointment of the French authorities – and voluntarily – I appeared before the public prosecutor's office to answer each and every one of their questions clearly and with a clear conscience.

"In this respect, it must be stressed that I have not been the subject of any accusation by the authorities. For my part, I am, and I will be ready to answer any questions from the prosecutor, as I did on Monday and today."

Quintana ended his statement by stating that his biological passport is "impeccable", adding that he has never used doping substances at any level of his cycling career. He added that he will continue to co-operate with the investigation on a voluntary basis.

"I, without fear, will continue to be strong, I will defend the truth and I will continue on my way, even if the crowd, at times, takes another direction," he concluded. 

Read Nairo Quintana's full translated statement below.

Statement from Nairo Quintana

In connection with the latest developments I would like to clarify the following:

The French gendarmerie carried out an operation in the hotel where my team was staying on Wednesday 16th September in Meribel, after the stage of the Tour de France had finished. On that day the authorities entered my room and seized vitamin supplements that were perfectly legal, although perhaps not familiar to the French authorities. This is the main reason why it has taken time to clear up everything that happened.

To avoid any doubt, I would like to confirm that no doping substances were ever found.

I would also like to clear up a misunderstanding: neither during the recent Tour, nor during any other previous race, I have never consulted assistants or staff who were not part of the team. I do not have, and have never had, anything to hide.

Yesterday, by appointment of the French authorities – and voluntarily – I appeared before the public prosecutor's office to answer each and every one of their questions clearly and with a clear conscience. In this respect, it must be stressed that I have not been the subject of any accusation by the authorities. For my part, I am, and I will be ready to answer any questions from the prosecutor, as I did on Monday and today.

I, Nairo Quintana, have been a clean cyclist throughout my sporting life and I have an impeccable biological passport. I want to make it clear to the public, to my fans and to the followers of cycling that never in all my career - junior, under-23 and professional - have I used illegal substances that improve my sporting performance and that betray the principles of sport.

For the time being, a preliminary investigation is being carried out, I have answered all the questions and doubts and I am willing to continue doing so on a voluntary basis until the whole situation has been clarified on the basis that I have never used doping substances and no illegal substances were found in the police investigation.

I, without fear, will continue to be strong, I will defend the truth and I will continue on my way, even if the crowd, at times, takes another direction.

Your friend,

Nairo Quintana