Bardiani-CSF duo fail doping tests on eve of Giro d'Italia - Road Cycling UK

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Bardiani-CSF duo fail doping tests on eve of Giro d’Italia

Nicola Ruffoni and former stage winner Stefano Pirazzi kicked out of race

Italian duo Nicola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi, both of the Bardiani-CSF team, have been booted out of the Giro d’Italia on the eve of the race after both failing out-of-competition doping tests.

Both Pirazzi – the 2013 Giro King of the Mountains and a stage winner in 2014 – and Ruffoni returned adverse analytical findings for growth hormone releasing peptides (GHRPs).

And in a strongly-worded statement, Bardiani-CSF – who face a temporary suspension themselves under UCI anti-doping rules – vowed to terminate the two riders’ contracts if their B-sample confirms the anti-doping rule violation.

Stefano Pirazzi, a former Giro King of the Mountains and stage winner, is one of two Bardiani-CSF riders to have failed a doping test on the eve of the Giro d’Italia (pic: Sirotti)

“Bardiani-CSF state the intention to immediately throw out both the riders from the Giro d’Italia squad and to suspend from all the activity of the team, according to UCI regulations,” a statement on the team website read.

“If the “B” samples confirm the violation, the team will immediately proceed with layoff, as provided for by internal regulations, signed by each rider at the beginning of the season, and will act to protect its image and their sponsors.”

Bardiani-CSF have already fallen foul of the voluntary MPCC (Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible) after entering an un-named rider into the 2015 Giro d’Italia despite him returning low cortisol levels prior to the race.

The Italian team quit the MPCC in the fall-out from that incident, after the MPCC went public with the news.

And the Movement responded to Ruffoni and Pirazzi’s provisional suspensions by re-iterating their call for Giro d’Italia organisers RCS Sport to only invite MPCC members to the race to fill wildcard spots in future.

As it is, the ProContinental outfit – who were handed a wildcard invite after winning last year’s Coppa Italia – must start the Giro with only seven riders, as it is too late to replace Ruffoni and Pirazzi.

Nicola Ruffoni also failed a doping test, and if their B-samples confirm the adverse analytical finding their Bardiani-CSF team will also be suspended (pic – Sirotti)

The 100th Giro d’Italia gets underway in Sardinia today (Friday May 5), with defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and 2014 winner Nairo Quintana leading the GC contenders.

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