A 14-year-old cyclist from Italy has reportedly become the country’s youngest rider ever to fail a doping test.
According to Corriere dello Sport, the unnamed cyclist tested positive for mesterolone, a banned anabolic steroid, following a regional race near Rome.
The young cyclist has been immediately suspended by the the Italian Olympic Committee’s anti-doping tribunal.
Mesterolone is reportedly used widely by bodybuilders, with Carlo Tranquilli, chair of the Lazio region of the Italian Sports Medical Federation, saying that it could have “deadly side-effects” when taken by such a young person.
“The administration [of the drug] to a 14-year-old could stop him growing properly,” he said. “It can cause hormonal, sexual, and cardiovascular problems, and possible cause tumours too.
“All this is from first use, and not just risks that come from prolonged use, because at that age the child is still developing.”