Androni Giocattoli team faces suspension of up to 45 days after second rider tests positive

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Italian team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec faces a possible suspension of up to a month and a half after the UCI announced that a second rider from the current season has tested positive.

It stated Monday that the Italian Fabio Taborre underwent an out of competition doping control on June 16 2015 which subsequently revealed traces of the substance FG-4592.

FG-4592 is a banned product which stimulates the exogenous production of the blood booster EPO. It went through phase II clinical trials but in May 2007 this was temporarily suspended following the death of a trial participant due to fulminant hepatitis.

In early 2008 the blockage was lifted by the FDA. Earlier this year the companies behind it said they were working on phase III clinical trials.

Taborre is a 30 year old from Pescara who previously won the Memorial Marco Pantani in 2011 and also took the Gran Premio Città di Camaiore in the same year.

His out of competition test was carried out one day prior to the Tour of Slovenia.

He has been provisional suspended. Taborre can request the analysis of his B sample and has the right to attend that examination.

Team-mate Davide Appollonio also tested positive recently, being subjected to a doping control on June 14. This subsequently showed traces of EPO.

The UCI stated that the team would likely face repercussions for the two positives. The measure is permissible under a new anti-doping regulation which came into force on January 1 of this year.

“This constitutes the second AAF for a member of the UCI Professional Continental Team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec since the beginning of 2015 and within a twelve-month period,” stated the UCI in the announcement.

“Therefore article 7.12.1 UCI ADR providing for the suspension of the Team from 15 to 45 days will be applied.”

The UCI’s disciplinary commission will evaluate the team’s case and announce its decision in the near future.

Meanwhile Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec general manager Gianni Savio has said the team will sue the rider and also, as previously declared, will take legal action against Appollonio.

During the off season it said that all riders had agreed to pay a fine of €100,000 if they were involved in doping cases, as well as compensation for any additional damages that could take place.

“If the counter-analysis confirm the positivity, another stupid criminal has committed a crime that seriously damages our team,” said Savio.

“We have struggled against doping with all our strengths and zero tolerance. We have held seminars for the riders with Attorney Giuseppe Napoleone and fixed a high penalty. We thought that would be a sufficient deterrent but unluckily the reality seems to be different.

“We have done everything possible and we have never put our riders under pressure, we have simply required commitment, reliability and loyalty. We are deeply disheartened but we will not stop fighting.”

H said that as members of the MPCC anti-doping organisation, the team will suspend itself as requested.

Read more about FG4592 “oxygen in a pill” on CyclingTips

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