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Two riders fail doping tests on the eve of the Giro d'Italia

Joseph Delves
5 May 2017

Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni from Italian team Bardiani-CSF suspended

Two Italian cyclists were kicked off of the centenary edition of their home tour last night, the day before the race was due to begin. Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni of team Bardiani-CSF returned positive test results for Growth Hormone-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs).

‘The UCI announces that it has notified Italian riders Nicola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi of an Adverse Analytical Finding of Growth Hormone-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs) in collected samples in the scope of out-of-competition controls on 25 and 26 April 2017 respectively,’ read a statement.

‘In accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the riders have been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the respective affair. The UCI will refer the matter to the Disciplinary Commission which will render a decision against the team in due course.’

The Bardiani-CSF team immediately suspended the two, and will now start the 2017 Giro d'Italia with only seven riders. In a statement they made clear their intention to ‘immediately throw out both riders from the Giro d’Italia squad and to suspend them from all the activity with the team, according to UCI regulations.

'Should the B-samples confirm the violation, the team will immediately proceed with layoff.’

Team managers Bruno and Roberto Reverberi claimed to have been taken unawares by the results.

‘We’re absolutely astounded by the news. We’ll await the results of further analysis and we will reaffirm with determination the intention to protect the values of our sport project.’

However, the results will place intense scrutiny on the team, which is currently still allowed to continue in the race, which begins today.

Having invited the team on a wildcard entry, in a press release the Giro’s organisers made clear their intentions to take any measures necessary ‘to protect the image and the name of the Giro d’Italia.’

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