In its findings, the Commission adjudged that Luca Paolini’s cocaine use, which was detected in an anti-doping control at the 2015 Tour de France, was not related to influencing his sporting performance.
Instead, it was concluded that it was taken on a recreational basis, going on to state that recreational drugs could not be reconciled within the aim of the UCI rule 7.12.1, which talks about suspending teams that produce two Adverse Analytical Findings.
“Even if, strictly speaking, such a case falls within the application of the anti-doping rules for the rider concerned, the imposition of negative consequences for the whole team would be inappropriate and disproportionate,” the Disciplinary Commission statement read.
“It is understood that the intention of the article is to impose negative consequences on teams that lack control of doping for sporting purposes by their athletes, or if even worse scenarios exist, and/or if teams are not doing enough to fight such doping.”
The president of the Commission ruled that it would be disproportionate to suspend the team on the basis of one of its members using a social drug.
Katusha’s second drugs test failure occurred last week when Eduard Vorganov tested positive for meldonium – a drug used to treat patients with chronic heart failure.