The whole of the Bardiani-CSF team could be banned for up to a year a third rider on the team has tested positive for banned substances within a 12-month period.
After Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni both tested positive for a form of human growth hormone in late April, and now Michael Bresciani, a 22-year-old rider who was recruited by the team in June as a replacement for Pirazzi and Ruffoni, has also tested positive for a banned substance.
Bresciani tested positive for the banned diuretic Furosemide in an out-of-competition test the day after the Italian National Championships on June 26, his first race as a professional rider and his first race for the team. The UCI confirmed that both the A and B samples had tested positive.
Due to the nature of the substance, Bresciani has not been provisionally suspended by the UCI, but has agreed to an internal suspension with the Bardiani-CSF team.
This is Bardiani-CSF’s third positive test within a 12-month period, meaning that the team will face a ban of between 15 days and 12 months, having already served a 30-day ban after the Pirazzi and Ruffoni’s positive tests.
As for Bresciani, the young rider is confident that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing, saying that the positive test must have been caused by the contamination of his food by his mother’s diuretic tablet.
“I know I have done nothing wrong,” Bresciani told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The problem is that my mother takes Lasix for meals. In splitting the tablet, a few pieces might have got somewhere in my plate.
“The UCI is investigating the case and has not yet issued the verdict, but I do not think I can be punished for anything other than neglect.”
Under World Anti-Doping Agency rules, athletes adhere to the principle of strict liability, which means that an athlete is responsible for banned substances found in their body, “whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault”.