The Ukrainian rider will be suspended for 45 days from May 1 to June 14 following his bust up with Marcel Kittel at the Dubai Tour

UCI has announced that it has banned Andriy Grivko (Astana) for 45 days as a result of punching Marcel Kittel at the Dubai Tour earlier this year.

The Astana rider was caught up in a conflict with the Quick-Step Floors sprinter as they battled for position in the peloton.

There was no video footage of the incident taking place but an image of Kittel with blood streaming down his face, made it clear that the German had been on the receiving end.

In a Facebook post, Grivko vehemently denied any wrongdoing, claiming that Kittel spat at him and that he was just defending himself. “I responded with aggressive action to aggressive action from the other side,” he said.

Despite being disqualified from the race, some riders felt it wasn’t enough but the UCI took a considered approach to the investigation, having only just issued a result.

This isn’t the first time that other riders have questioned the Ukrainian’s aggressiveness with former WorldTour pro rider, Robbie McEwen claiming to be on the end of a previous clash.

The announcement has come at a poor time for the Astana rider though with the ban lasting for 45 days from May 1 to June 14, effectively wiping out any preparation for the Tour de France after the Tour de Romandie.