Bardiani fires Pirazzi, Ruffoni over failed drug tests

The two riders were removed from the Giro d'Italia one day before it started because of failed anti-doping controls.

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Bardiani-CSF has fired its two riders who failed anti-doping tests before the Giro d’Italia. The team announced Friday that Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni had also tested positive in their “B” sample tests.

On the eve of the Giro’s May 5 start, Pirazzi and Ruffoni were kicked out of the race. They had growth hormone-releasing peptides in their samples taken in April anti-doping controls.

Bardiani emailed a statement to the media Friday morning that confirmed the pair’s “B” samples had tested positive as well. The team has removed the two riders from its roster. Bardiani cited team health rules and the riders’ contracts as reasons for sacking them.

“Bardiani-CSF reserves the right to proceed with a legal action against Pirazzi and Ruffoni to protect the image of the team and its sponsor,” the statement reads.

At the start of the Giro, many wondered whether the UCI would remove the entire Bardiani team from the Giro, per anti-doping rules. The UCI allowed the Italian Pro Continental squad to remain in the race as the two riders’ “B” samples were tested.

As of Friday morning, the UCI had made no announcement of whether Bardiani would be allowed to continue in the Italian grand tour, which concludes May 28 in Milan.

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