Mauro Santambrogio says he has given up on racing professionally, after being handed a three-year ban by the UCI for a positive test for testosterone in 2014.
The Italian failed the out-of-competition doping control in October last year while he was still serving a ban for testing positive for EPO at the 2013 Giro d’Italia while riding for Vini-Fantini. He had taken victory on stage 14 of the race and finished ninth overall, but was subsequently disqualified after testing positive.
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The 31-year-old had agreed to make his comeback last year with Italian team Amore e Vita, but claimed he had not be training for his comeback when the traces of testosterone were found. Santambrogio had said that he was prescribed testosterone for erectile fertility issues as he and his partner were trying to have a baby.
But despite claiming he could not have applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE), not holding a UCI licence at the time, almost a year later the UCI have given the former BMC rider a three-year ban with anti-doping rules allowing for testing of athletes who are currently serving a ban.
After receiving the ban, Santambrogio told Italian website Tuttobiciweb that he would not be returning to racing.
“I respect the UCI sentence but I decided to change my life a long time ago,” Santambrogio said.
“I just want to say that I do not think the ban is fair because I explained everything at the time. Now I want to focus on my new life and look to the future. Racing is part of my past and to be clear I want to say that I have definitely retired from racing and will not be back.”
Santambrogio was listed on the UCI’s Anti-Doping Rule Violations list on October 22 of this year and will be allowed to return to competition on October 21 of 2017.