Mattia Gavazzi tests positive for cocaine for third time

Italian sprinter Mattia Gavazzi faces a lengthy ban after testing positive for cocaine for third time in his career

Mattia Gavazzi racing with Colnago-CSF Inox in 2010 (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

For the third time in 12 years, Italian rider Mattia Gavazzi has tested positive for cocaine, and has been provisionally suspended by his Amore & Vita-Selle SMP team.

The 32-year-old reportedly tested positive for the recreational drug in a test conducted after stage six of the Tour of Qinghai Lake last year. He won stages eight, 10, 11 and 13 in the race.

>>> Luca Paolini handed 18-month ban after Tour de France cocaine positive

Previously, Gavazzi was suspended for 14 months for taking cocaine in 2004, while racing as an amateur, and in 2010 he served a two-and-a-half year ban while racing for Colnago-CSF Inox for the same substance.

He made a comeback with Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela in 2013 and moved to Christina Watches in 2014, but was released after six months for his "behaviour outside of the sport", according to manager Bo Hamburger in an interview with Cycling Quotes, although he insisted it was not because of doping.

If Gavazzi's B-sample returns positive the Italian is likely to face a lengthy ban.

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