Two Katusha development squad riders banned for doping violations

Riders from the Itera-Katusha team, a Continental squad that develops riders for the WorldTour team, given one year bans

Lukonin and Lutsenko. Photos: Itera-Katusha

Two young riders from the Katusha development squad have been banned for one year each following information that was passed to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

A statement on RUSADA's website says, "following the materials provided by Disciplinary Anti-doping Committee rendered a decision that made Andrey Lukonin and Ivan Lutsenko (cycling) ineligible for 1 years for the anti-doping rule violation, the period commencing on August 3, 2015."

The release did not provide any further details, so it is as yet unlcear as to whether the young riders had tested positive for a banned substance or if they had infringed anti-doping rules in some other way.

>>> UCI president Brian Cookson responds to athletics doping scandal

Lukonin and Lutsenko both ride for Itera-Katusha, the Continental squad that develops riders and feeds them into the Katusha WorldTour team.

There is no indication of involvement of other riders or staff, let alone from the main Katusha squad. However, when Astana's feeder-team experienced doping scandles at the end of 2014 it struggled to distance itself from the violations.

Other Russian athletes were banned at the same time as the Itera riders pointing to a problem that goes far beyond cycling.

Two weightlifters and a sport dancer have also received bans at a time when RUSADA has found itself on the wrong side of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Earlier this week, WADA announced that Russia and five other nations were found to be non-compliant with its code.

Russia's place on the list comes as a result of the key recommendations of an Independent Commission into the widespread doping in Russian athletics.

Itera-Katusha are yet to comment on the bans.

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Jack Elton-Walters hails from the Isle of Wight, and would be quick to tell anyone that it's his favourite place to ride. He has covered a varied range of topics for Cycling Weekly, producing articles focusing on tech, professional racing and cycling culture. He moved on to work for Cyclist Magazine in 2017 where he stayed for four years until going freelance. He now returns to Cycling Weekly from time-to-time to cover racing, review cycling gear and write longer features for print and online. He is not responsible for misspelled titles on box outs, and he lost the argument about using UK spellings