German rider Patrik Sinkewitz has been provisionally suspended from competition by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for failing an anti-doping test for recombinant human growth hormone.
Sinkewitz’s blood sample taken during the GP di Lugano on 27 February 2011 was found to contain the banned substance which is taken to aid muscle growth and regeneration.
A UCI statement read: “This is the first suspension delivered in cycling on the basis of a test for the detection of the growth hormone and one of the first cases in all sports combined. This adverse analytical finding is therefore a new and important step in cycling’s fight against doping.”
The German Cycling Federation (BDR) will study the evidence to decide whether Sinkewitz has broken anti-doping rules, and will hand out a ban accordingly. Sinkewitz has the right to request that his B sample is tested, and to attend the testing procedure. If Sinkewitz is found guilty, he could face a lifetime ban as it would be his second doping offence.
Sinkewitz failed a test for abnormal testosterone levels prior to the 2007 Tour de France. The German’s positive test lead to him being ejected from the T-Mobile team and played a part in T-Mobile’s subsequent withdrawal from sponsoring the team.
Sinkewtiz was suspended for one year by the BDR after admitting to using testosterone patches to aid recovery. His suspension ended in July 2008 and he returned to racing with the PSK Whirlpool squad in 2009 before signing with ISD-Neri for 2010.
Sinkewitz had been named on Farnese Vini’s squad for this Saturday’s Milan-San Remo.
Earlier this month the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled to uphold the UCI’s appeal to suspend Italian riders Franco Pellizotti and Pietro Caucchioli for two years after both showed irregularities in their biological passports.