Whole Vini-Zabù team suspended after doping positives 

The UCI has banned the squad from racing after they had two doping positives in 12 months 

(Image credit: Getty Images,)

The whole of the Vini-Zabù team have been suspended from racing after the squad had two doping positives in the last 12 months.

Cycling’s international governing body the UCI announced on Monday afternoon (April 19) that the Italian ProTeam would be banned from racing for 20 days for breaching anti-doping rules.

Vini Zabù recently pulled out of the Giro d’Italia as they investigated one of their riders, Matteo De Bonis, who tested positive for EPO earlier this year.

De Bonis’s positive was the team’s second doping violation in 12 months, following Matteo Spreafico’s doping breach during the 2020 Giro d’Italia last October, which according to the UCI rules results in a ban for the entire team. 

The UCI said: “The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the UCI Disciplinary Commission has decided to suspend the UCI ProTeam Vini Zabù for a period of 30 days, starting retroactively on 7 April 2021 and effective until 6 May 2021, in accordance with article 11.3 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.

“The UCI Anti-Doping Rules provide for the suspension of a team when two of its riders receive notice of an Adverse Analytical Finding for a non-specified substance in samples collected during the same 12-month period.”

Vini Zabu’s first doping positive came on October 22 last year, when Italian rider Spreafico was notified of an adverse analytical finding for the banned steroid Enobosarm (Ostarine) during tests at the Giro d’Italia. 

That was followed by De Bonis, 25, who tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competiton test in Italy in February this year. 

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 Giro d’Italia. 

The team had been invited to race the 2021 Giro d’Italia on a wild card from the organisers, a decision that was criticised by rival team boss Gianni Savio.

Savio’s team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, initially left out of the Giro, have since been invited to the race to take Vini Zabù’s place. 

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. 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.