Italian Matteo Rabottini tested positive for blood booster EPO in an out-of-competition test on August 7, reported his national federation yesterday. The team Neri Sottoli cyclist, who won a stage and mountain’s classification at the 2012 Giro d’Italia, was due to represent the Italian team at the Ponferrada World Championships on September 28, but will now stay home.
“We’re bringing in Davide Formolo from team Cannondale, who’s one of our most promising youngsters,” head coach Davide Cassani said. La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper reported that Cassani was “disgusted” when he heard about Rabottini.
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Rabottini was named on a 16-man long list partly to give Italian second division team, Neri Sottoli a representative on the Italian team in Ponferrada, Spain. The 27-year-old place third overall in the Tour of Slovenia in June and just after his eventual positive test, fourth behind Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in the Vuelta a Burgos that ran from August 13 to 17.
The test is another black mark for Neri Sottoli. When the team raced as Vini Fantini-Selle Italia in the 2013 Giro d’Italia, its riders Danilo Di Luca and Mauro Santambrogio tested positive for EPO in tests linked to the race. Regardless, the team was able to race the 2014 Giro on a wildcard invitation. Rabottini placed fourth in one stage and 17th overall behind classification winner Quintana.
“After receiving news from the UCI on Friday that Matteo Rabottini has been provisionally suspended,” read the federation’s statement, “we would like to announce that he is immediately excluded from the national squad.”
The federation said that it heard from cycling’s governing body via e-mail at 17:18, shortly after Cassani named his original 16-man list.
Cassani instead named Fabio Aru (Astana), Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff), Damiano Caruso (Cannondale), Giampaolo Caruso (Katusha), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek), Filippo Pozzato (Lampre), Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Davide Formolo (Cannondale), Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma), Alessandro Vanotti (Astana), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani).
The EPO positive of Rabottini follows the news on Wednesday that Kazakh Valentin Iglinskiy (Astana) for the same banned drug.
Kazakh rider Valentin Iglinskiy failed test for EPO at Eneco Tour and admits to using the banned blood booster