Giro d’Italia rider suspended after two anti-doping violations on stages 12 and 13

Matteo Spreafico of the Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM team tested positive during the race for a drug that reduces muscle atrophy

An Italian rider has been provisionally suspended after two anti-doping violations during the 2020 Giro d’Italia.

Matteo Spreafico of the Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM ProTeam returned two Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) on stage 12 and 13 of the Giro d’Italia on October 15 and 16.

The substance in question was Enobosarm, otherwise known as ostarine, which is used to treat osteoporosis and other conditions that cause muscle atrophy, with this type of substance, known as ‘SARMs’, having been on WADA’s banned list alongside other anabolic agents since 2008.

The drug is a “prohibited substance listed under class S1.2 (Other Anabolic Agents) of the 2020 Prohibited List which is maintained by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA),” the UCI said in a statement

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“In accordance with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair,” cycling’s governing body added, saying they will be making no further statement at this time and that Spreafico has the right to request and attend the analyses of his B samples.

The 27-year-old was eighth last in the general classification before being withdrawn prior to the start of stage 19, sitting in 127th overall, more than five hours down on Sunweb’s race leader Wilco Kelderman.

Spreafico was riding his first-ever Grand Tour at the Giro, having transferred mid-season from Androni Giocattoli-Sidermic, where he had spent the past three seasons.

With positive tests revolving around the coronavirus pandemic this Giro d’Italia, this is the first positive test for a banned substance at the Italian Grand Tour since 2015 with Davide Appollonio.

Last year in the 2019 edition, Bahrain-Merida’s Kristijan Koren was withdrawn from the race due to his involvement in Operation Aderlass, a police investigation into doping in endurance sport, later receiving a two-year ban.

Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM are yet to make a statement.