By Henry Robertshaw published
Speaking to Gazetta della Sport, Paolini said that he had been training hard in an attempt to return to the sport, but had been unsuccessful in finding a team willing to take him.
"I found closed doors. At Astana, Vinokourov told me that with the ban that I had, he could not hire me. Coming from him that made me laugh.
"I would’ve liked to race with Bahrain-Merida, but the Arab culture is such that they don’t accept the minimum error when it comes to alcohol and drugs."
The two-time Grand Tour stage winner has now turned his back on cycling, opening a cafe in the Italian town on Como, just a stone's throw from the start of Il Lombardia.
However, his career was cut short when he was handed an 18-month ban after testing positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition test in June 2015.
The Italian also struggled with addictions to caffeine and sleeping drugs in the latter years of his career, addictions that he now says have been solved.
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.
'I would like at some point to maybe learn to take time out and enjoy the colour of life': Dave Brailsford reflects on the personal cost of success
Following cancer scare and heart surgery, the Ineos director of sport has reflected on the sacrifices he's made to win
By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan • Published
Sam Bennett aims to be 'master of chaos' in sprints as he returns to Bora-Hansgrohe
Irishman to target Milan-San Remo and then Tour de France as he looks to move on from troubled 2021
By Adam Becket • Published