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Italian ProTeam Vini Zabù is facing a possible suspension after a second member of the team has registered a doping positive in a 12-month period.
Less than four months after then-Vini Zabù rider Matteo Spreafico returned adverse analytical findings for Enobosarm (ostarine) in two samples taken in doping controls at last year’s Giro, current team member Matteo De Bonis returned an adverse analytical finding for Erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition control on February 16 of this year.
De Bonis has the right to request a B sample analysis, but he has been provisionally suspended. According to Article 11.3.1 of the UCI’s AntiDoping Rules, a team with two anti-doping rules violations in a 12-month period “shall, unless circumstances of exceptional nature require otherwise” receive a suspension of between 15 and 45 days.
The UCI said in a statement that it “will shortly refer the matter to the Disciplinary Commission which will render a decision in due course.”
Depending on the length of a suspension and timing of when it is handed down, Vini Zabù could miss the Giro d’Italia, which starts on May 8. Vini Zabù was one of three squads receiving wildcard invites to the race this year.
At the time that the Giro d’Italia team selection was announced, Gianni Savio, manager of the Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec team that did not receive an invite, criticized the selection of Vini Zabù after Spreafico’s doping positives during last year’s race.
“I can’t explain it, I don’t find a logic in all this,” Savio told la Repubblica in February. “If they had invited Quintana’s Arkea I would have been able to understand, nothing to say. The Zabù, on the other hand, no, I don’t like it. With everything they’ve done lately.”