Caja Rural-Seguros rider suspended after positive doping test

Alberto Ruiz Gallego is provisionally suspended by the UCI and has his contract at Caja Rural terminated after testing positive for Stanzolol, a metabolite of testosterone, on January 3

Caja Rural-Seguros rider Alberto Ruiz Gallego has been provisionally suspended by the UCI after submitting an anti-doping sample which tested positive for Stanozolol.

The 25-year-old tested positive on January 3 for the substance, a metabolite of testosterone. The Spaniard becomes the first professional rider to be suspended for doping in 2016.

Gallego enjoyed a solid season in 2015 riding for Continental team Radio Popular ONDA Boavista, claiming five top 10 finishes in stage races, ultimately winning him a contract with the Pro Continental level Caja Rural.

Gallego's contract has now been terminated by the Spanish team in accordance with current regulations and internal practices, according to a short statement on their website.

"The team is disappointed by this news as it strives to participate in a clean sport," the statement concluded.

His best performance came at the Route du Sud in June - a traditional build-up race for some Tour de France contenders - where he finished seventh, just over two minutes behind winner Alberto Contador.

He followed it up with 13th in the Spanish National Championships and third overall at the GP Internacional Torres Vedras in July.

Gallego had been set to make his debut for Caja Rural at either Challenge Mallorca (January 28-31) or the GP de Marseillaise (January 31).

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.