UCI explains why Katusha won’t be suspended over second doping case

Caruso and Pozzovivo pass IAM's Stefan Dinifli and take up the race lead.

by Shane Stokes


Although the announcement of a second positive in less than two months appeared to position the Katusha team for a suspension under the UCI’s regulations, the governing body has clarified why the team won’t be sidelined.

The UCI introduced Article 7.12.1 last January, a rule which states that a team notified of two anti-doping rule violations within a 12 month period will be automatically suspended for a period ranging between 15 and 45 days.

Katusha’s Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine during the Tour de France. Yesterday, Tuesday, the UCI announced that his team-mate Giampaolo Caruso has had a positive A sample for EPO.

This was from the retesting of an out of competition sample taken on March 27 2012, over three years ago.

Contacted by CyclingTips, the UCI’s Head of Communications Sébastien Gillot explained why this second positive wouldn’t fall under the new regulation.

“This is based on the non-retroactivity of law principle, which is enshrined in the World Anti-Doping Code (25.2) according to which an ADRV which occurred prior to 01.01.2015 shall be governed by the substantive Anti-Doping Rule in effect at the time the alleged ADRV occurred,” he said.

“The 2012 ADR did not of course provide for the team suspension.”

Simply put, the WADA regulation means that rules cannot be backdated to the point at which doping violations occurred. Instead, the rules in place at the time are those which are binding.

Katusha’s case differs from that of the Italian Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec team, which was sidelined for 30 days at the end of July.

Two of its riders were snared in the past two months. Davide Appollonio tested positive for EPO on June 14 while the blood-booster FG-4592 was detected in an out of competition control carried out on another Italian, Fabio Taborre, on June 16.

As both of those tests were carried out since January 1, Article 7.12.1 can be enforced.

The UCI stated yesterday that there was no information available at this point in time about Paolini’s B sample.

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