14-year-old Italian rider fails drugs test after local race

Medical experts say drug could cause problem's for child's growth

An amateur racer has been banned for doping
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

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 (opens in new tab), 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.

>>> Trek-Segafredo rider André Cardoso tests positive for EPO

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."

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.