By Gregor Brown
Davide Appollonio, who rode for Team Sky from 2011 to 2012, has failed an anti-doping test for banned blood booster EPO. After two years with Ag2r, the Italian sprinter signed with Androni-Sidermec for 2015 and participated in the Giro d'Italia. He tested positive on June 14.
The positive test result came ahead of the Tour of Slovenia (June 18-21) where 26-year-old Appollonio won the points classification. The news was announced by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on Tuesday evening, and Appollonio is now provisionally suspended from competition.
The UCI did not add any additional information, but as per rules, Appollonio may ask for his B sample to be analysed to confirm or negate the A sample.
Appollonio failed to take a victory in the Giro. His best result came on stage 17 to Lugano where he placed fifth behind winner Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida).
Appollonio comes from Italy’s small Molise region in the South. He began racing with Cervélo Test Team. With Sky, he rode the Giro d'Italia in 2011 and took his last two wins: a stage in the Tour of Luxembourg and one in the Tour International du Poitou Charentes.
He left Sky for Ag2r and this year joined Gianni Savio's Professional Continental team, Androni-Sidermec.
"I watched the races in television in the past and I can see that cycling's changed, changed for the better," Appollonio told Cycling Weekly in 2011.
"All of this is better for the young riders, who now have a chance to express themselves better and step up in the ranks. I know the story, but I've been lucky enough to avoid it all."
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