Two Italian cyclists banned following doping violations

One was an amateur time trial champion

(Image credit: Getty)

Two Italian amateur cyclists have been banned following doping violations.

Italian cycling time trial champion Francesco Pesciaioli has been handed a four-year ban for evading a test, Italy's anti-doping agency NADO Italia announced, while another rider also returned an adverse analytical finding.

Daniele Lazzari, an amateur Masters cyclist returned a positive test for methylprednisolone at the Gran Fondo Pinarello e della Marca Trevigiana, having finished second in the Tricolore di Fontanelle, the amateur national championships, a month earlier, that result now stripped from his record.

Methylprednisolone is a steroid five times as potent as cortisol and is normally used to relieve inflammation in the treatment of certain forms of arthritis.

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Lazarri has been given a 10-month from September 7 to July 6 2022, while Pesciaioli's ban for evading a doping test results is a four-year ban, running from October 7 until October 6 2025.

In the wake of his ban, Pesciaioli has posted numerous times on his Instagram account, which has nearly 16,000 followers, with one photo captioned: "Today I stop running away from the past, today is the day in which the accounts are made". Another reads: "The more one judges, the less one loves".

"The National Anti-Doping Prosecutor, deciding in the disciplinary procedure against the athlete Francesco Pesciaioli, FCI member, affirms the responsibility of the aforementioned for the violation of article 2.3," read a statement from NADO. "And applies them...the disqualification for 4 years with the cancellation of any sporting results and the other consequences applicable from 7 October 2021."

Earlier this week, an amateur rider in the United States of America was also handed a doping ban after winning a third-category race at the Arizona State Championships. 

Matt McWhirter, 49, tested positive for testosterone or its precursors and has now been banned from competition for four years by USADA.

He has been stripped of all results from June 19 2021 and will have to forfeit any medals, points or prizes acquired since that date.

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