The Italian rider was due to have started the 100th edition of the Giro for the Bardiani-CSF team, but instead was sent home after he and team-mate Stefano Pirazzi both tested positive for GH-Releasing Peptides, growth hormones, on April 25 and 26 respectively.
Ruffoni initially said that the presence of the banned hormone in his system could have been due to treatment for a prostate infection that he had suffered in March and April.
With Ruffoni and Pirazzi sent home, the Bardiani-CSF team started the Giro with just seven rather than nine riders.
The UCI confirmed Ruffoni's sanction in a statement issued on Wednesday.
"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has rendered its decision in the case involving Nicola Ruffoni," said the short statement.
"The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (presence of GH-Releasing Peptides /GHRPs)* and imposed 4-year period of ineligibility on the rider."
"In accordance with the Procedural Rules of the Anti-Doping Tribunal, the decision will shortly be published on the UCI website.
"(*) GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs) are classified as “Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics” as per the Prohibited List 2017."
Ruffoni's suspension will expire on May 3 2021. Pirazzi was previously handed a four-year ban, which will also expire on May 3 2021.
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Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.
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