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.
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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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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