Former Vini Zabù rider banned for three years after testing positive at Giro d’Italia 

The Italian rider tested positive twice during last year’s Giro 

Matteo Spreafico at the Giro d'Italia 2020 (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images,)

A former Vini Zabù rider has been banned for three years after testing positive at the Giro d’Italia.

Matteo Spreafico has been sanctioned by the UCI after he failed two doping tests during last year’s Giro, having tested positive for the banned substance enobosarm (ostarine), which can produce similar effects to anabolic steroids. 

Spreafico was initially suspended on October 22 last year, when he was notified of an adverse analytical finding during anti-doping tests on October 15 and 16 during the 2020 Giro, while racing for the Vini Zabù team. 

The team then fired the 28-year-old rider. 

Spreafico has now accepted a three-year ban from the UCI, backdated to October 22, which means he will not be eligible to race until October 21, 2023.   

He has also been stripped of all results from the 2020 Giro. 

The suspension of Spreafico was the first of two doping offences inside the Vini Zabù team within a 12 month period, as Matteo De Bonis, 25, was then suspended after he tested positive for EPO during an out-of-competition test earlier this year.  

Vini Zabù were then suspended from racing for 20 days by the UCI. 

Following the announcement of De Bonis’s positive test, Italian police carried out raids on the team’s manager Angelo Citracca, sports director Luca Scinto and De Bonis, along with 22 other team members. 

Citracca later told Cyclingnews  that no banned substances were found during the searches and that the team were fully cooperating with police and the UCI.

 Vini Zabù then pulled out of the 2021 Giro d’Italia, after initially being invited on a wild card. 

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The team is now asking fans to donate money so they can improve their anti-doping checks within the team.  

Vini Zabù haven’t offered any specifics on what the new anti-doping measures would involve, but said: “We decided to open a crowdfunding because we repudiate doping and we want to fight it by creating a project that has worked well abroad but has never been done in Italy.”  

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.