First came Giampaolo Caruso’s positive test for EPO; today, the Russian team were seemingly forced to make a last-minute team change for the Vuelta after Egor Silin was removed from the start list, allegedly for unprofessional behaviour following the Olympic road race test event in Rio de Janeiro.
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Belgium’s Sporza TV reports that Silin and Russian team-mate Yury Trofimov were drunk at the airport ahead of their return flight home from Brazil. Trofimov finished fifth in the road race, which was won by Frenchman Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale).
Katusha representatives were unavailable when Cycling Weekly tried to contact them for a response.
Instead of starting the three-week Vuelta a España in the south of Spain tomorrow, Silin will sit on the bench along with Spaniard Caruso. Caruso was due to start before the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced earlier this week that he tested positive for EPO in 2012.
Trofimov was not on Katusha’s original Vuelta a España roster.
Katusha had announced on Saturday that Caruso and Silin were due to form part of the nine-man team with Joaquím Rodríguez as captain. Rodríguez placed third in 2012 and fourth last year behind Alberto Contador.
Instead, the new revised and official start list has Portuguese Tiago Machado riding for Caruso and, overnight, Latvian Gatis Smukulis replaced Silin.
Vladimir Isaichev, Pavel Kochetkov, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Aangel Vicioso and Eduard Vorganov round out the team roster.