Two riders from Iranian women’s track team banned for doping

Both riders tested positive in 2018 but have only just been sanctioned

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UCI has handed out four-year doping bans to two riders from the Iranian women’s track team.

Both riders tested positive at the 2018 Asian Track Championships in Malaysia, but have only been sanctioned this week.

Maedeh Nazari and Fatemeh Hadavand had anabolic steroids in their system during the track competition, which resulted in the UCI handing out bans two years later.

Nazari, 21, and Hadavand 22, have both been banned for four years, with their suspension back-dated to the date the anti-doping rule violations were committed, which means they will be eligible to race again in 2022.

Hadavand won the junior national championships back in 2015, winning both the time trial and the road race in the same year.

She went on to finish third in the elite nationals the following year.

Nazari has also claimed medals in Iran’s national championships, taking second in the time trial and third in the road race in 2016.

Both riders have also claimed national titles on the track.

The riders were tested two days apart on February 2018 at the Asian Track Champs at the Velodrom Nasional in Nilai, Malaysia.

International governing body the UCI has not released a statement regarding the bans, but the two riders were added to the list of riders ineligible to race due to doping.

The last rider banned by the UCI was Jarlinson Pantano, who had already retired from the sport in the wake of his positive doping test.

The Colombian pro, who last rode for Trek-Segafredo, was initially suspended and fired from his team in 2019 after he returned a positive test for the blood booster EPO.

Pantano then announced his retirement from the sport, saying he didn’t see the point in spending his money on fighting the UCI.

Then in May, the UCI announced the 31-year-old had been suspended from the sport for four years.

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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 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.