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Commenting in the wake of the combined five positive cases between the Astana WorldTour and Astana Continental teams, the MPCC anti-doping movement has said that six teams face self-suspension under its rules in the event of any more positive cases.
This is based on its regulations which decree that squads who include riders who have had more than one positive test must voluntarily step back from competition for a period of time. Under its rules, two positives equal one week on the sidelines, three positives equal four weeks and four result in a five week sanction.
According to the MPCC, the Astana Continental team will have to step back for five weeks if and when it returns to competition. It was suspended indefinitely in the wake of the Astana positives, with three riders from the squad – namely Ilya Davidenok, Artur Fedosseyev and Victor Okishev – all positive for anabolic androgenic steroids.
It also said that the WorldTour team would have to suspend itself for four weeks if another rider violates anti-doping rules prior to August 1 2016.
According to the MPCC, the other teams, the potential suspensions and the dates concerned are as follows:
– Neri Sottoli will have to suspend itself for one week if one of its riders violates anti doping rules before August 7th, 2015. This team is suspended from MPCC until the next annual general meeting, planned on October 2015.
– Rusvelo will have to suspend itself for four weeks if one of its riders violate anti doping rules before March 17th, 2015.
– Androni Giocattoli will have to suspend itself for a week if one of its riders violates anti doping rules before May 30th, 2015.
– Colombia will have to suspend itself for one week if one if its riders violates anti doping rules before January 22th, 2015.
– Lampre-Merida will have to suspend itself for one week if one of its riders violates anti doping rules before May 21st, 2015.
In each case, the process of suspension will only occur after a positive test is confirmed by analysis of a B sample or if the rider concerned elects not to have it done.
The suspension process for WorldTour teams will begin at the races of that level.
The MPCC has also reminded teams that all of its members have pledged to immediately eject a rider from a race if there is what it terms “an ongoing disciplinary prosecution.”
The Astana team is currently on probation; it was given a WorldTour licence despite the positive tests of Maxim and Valentin Iglinskiy, but told clearly from the UCI that any further issues will lead to the Licence Commission being called in again to rule on the matter.
Potential triggers for that action would be another positive test or some other indication of such issues. The UCI confirmed to CyclingTips on Wednesday that it was still awaiting receipt of the Padova doping investigation file from Italian Olympic Committee CONI.
Astana must also undergo an independent audit by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL) to determine “to what extent the team and or/its management is responsible of the recent events.”
That audit must be paid for by the team. A report is expected in early February 2015. It too could trigger further action.