Bora-Hansgrohe reveal former rider failed drugs test in 2016

Team manager expects Ralf Matzka to be acquitted over Tamoxifen test

Ralf Matzka in action at the 2015 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Bora-Hansgrohe have announced that former rider Ralf Matzka tested positive for a banned substance in 2016.

The German rider, who rode for the team when it was called NetApp-Endura and then Bora-Argon 18 between 2013 and 2016, tested positive for Tamoxifen, which increases testosterone production, in March 2016.

Team manager Ralph Denk said that the team had taken the decision not to publish news of the positive test as they expected him to be acquitted of any wrongdoing.

"After carefully reviewing the experts’ reports, the team Bora-Argon 18 took the decision not to publish the results at this time of the investigation to protect the athlete," Denk said in a statement.

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"An investigation procedure of the Frankfurt Prosecutor has been closed in September 2016 due to lack of suspicion. Until today the rider has not been suspended or banned by the UCI. The UCI has initiated internal proceedings and has taken legal actions.

"On the basis of the experts’ reports and all given facts at this point of time, the team expects a verdict of acquittal. The team will not give any further statements to the ongoing proceedings."

Denk said that "several independent renowned experts" had concluded that the most likely reason for Tamoxifen being found in Matzka's sample was water contamination.

Henry Robertshaw

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.