Bardiani-CSF riders to be sacked by team after doping positives confirmed

Analysis of B samples confirms positive tests

On the eve of the Giro, Stefano Pirazzi (left) and Nicola Ruffoni (right) of Bardiani-CSF were both evicted from the race after testing positive for growth hormones. The pair were later suspended from the team after positive B samples.
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Niccola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi have been sacked by Bardiani-CSF after testing of their B samples confirmed their positive doping tests from before the Giro d'Italia.

The two Italian riders tested positive for the same type of growth hormone in out-of-competition tests conducted the end of the April, with the announcement of the positive tests made a day before the start of the Giro d'Italia.

Both riders requested their B samples be tested, with Ruffoni blaming his positive test on a prostate infection, but the news that the B samples have also tested positive mean they should now face lengthy bans.

In a statement issued on Friday, the team said that it would be sacking both riders, and would also be considering taking legal action.

>>> Giro d'Italia boss laments 'damage already done' by Baridani doping positives

"With reference to the official communication received from the UCI that confirms the positivee analysis of B samples belonging to Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni, Bardiani-CSF Pro Cycling announces the start of the sacking process for both the athletes, as established in team health rules in case of violation and part of the contract signed by each riders of the team.

"Bardiani-CSF reserves the right to proceed with a legal action against Pirazzi and Ruffoni to protect the image of the team and its sponsor."

In accordance with UCI rules the team itself should also receive a ban of between 15 to 45 days as two of its riders have tested positive for banned substances.

>>> Who's out of the Giro d'Italia after stage 12However this sanction can only be issued by the UCI Disciplinary Commission, which has yet to issue a decision on the team's ban.

It is unclear when the commission will reach a decision on the team's sanction, but with nine days left until the end of the Giro d'Italia, it is not inconceivable that Bardiani-CSF may not make it to Milan if a decision is reached in the meantime.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.