Stefano Pirazzi given four-year ban for positive drugs test ahead of Giro d'Italia

Former Bardiani-CSF rider banned until 2021

Stefano Pirazzi at the 2016 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Stefano Pirazzi has been banned for four years after failing a drugs test shortly before the Giro d'Italia.

The 30-year-old tested positive for a human growth hormone, GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs), in an out-of-competition test on April 27, with news of the positive test being announced just two days ahead of the start of the Giro d'Italia.

Pirazzi has now received a four-year suspension, backdated to the date of the positive test, meaning that he will be out of action until May 3, 2021.

>>> American amateur rider tests positove for seven banned drugs in single doping test

Nicola Ruffoni also tested positive for the same banned substance in a test a day before Pirazzi, with his B-sample also returning positive, and both rider being sacked by their Bardiani-CSF teams.

However the UCI is yet to announce a sanction for Ruffoni, with the rider remaining provisionally suspended for the time being.

After Pirazzi and Ruffoni tested positive before the Giro, André Cardoso and Samuel Sanchez delivered positive tests before the Tour de France and Vuelta a España respectively. Like Ruffoni, both Cardoso and Sanchez are also currently provisionally suspended.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.