Astana rider banned for a year following positive drug test

The UCI announced Michele Gazzoli's one-year suspension for a 'non-intentional Anti-Doping Rule Violation'.

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Astana-Qazaqstan rider Michele Gazzoli has been banned for a year and his contract with the team terminated after testing positive for the banned stimulant Tuaminoheptane.

The 23-year-old Italian will be ineligible to race for a year, from August 10 2022 to August 9 2023, the UCI announced on Thursday August 11, following a “non-intentional Anti-Doping Rule Violation”.

The Adverse Analytical Finding for Tuaminoheptane was from an in-competition sample collected on February 17 2022 at the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta, with Gazzoli having his results from that race disqualified.

Tuaminoheptane is a prohibited substance listed under class S6 (Stimulants) of the prohibited list which is maintained by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and adopted by the UCI.

Gazzoli’s explanation is that he unintentionally ingested it after using a nasal spray bought independently at a pharmacy to treat a blocked nose. After hearing Gazzoli’s case, they have classified the anti-doping violation as unintentional.

“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the Italian rider Michele Gazzoli has been sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of one year for a non-intentional Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV),” cycling’s governing body said. “The case has been resolved by way of an acceptance of consequences as provided for by the Code and the UCI ADR.”

Astana-Qazaqstan have released a statement saying the team has nothing to do with the “unfortunate violation” and in adherence with its zero tolerance policy has decided to terminate Gazzoli’s contract with immediate effect.

“As part of this case, Astana Qazaqstan Team received from Michele Gazzoli a full explanation on how the above-named substance entered his body. These explanations have also been presented and thoroughly reviewed by the UCI,” the statement read.

“The UCI considered the explanations provided by Michele Gazzoli, namely the fact that the above-named substance entered the body unintentionally from the ingestion of a medication named Rhinofluimucil (a nasal spray for the treatment of rhinitis), purchased at a pharmacy independently without any implication of the medical staff of Astana Qazaqstan Team. The UCI decided this case was classified as an unintentional violation of anti-doping rule, which is why the disciplinary penalty was limited to one year of ineligibility and disqualification of the results of one race Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta only.

“Astana Qazaqstan Team categorically emphasizes that the team has nothing to do with this unfortunate violation of anti-doping rule by the rider Michele Gazzoli.

“Astana Qazaqstan Team, adhering to the zero tolerance policy, decided to immediately terminate the contract with Michele Gazzoli.”

Michele Gazzoli is yet to comment on the matter.

More to follow…

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