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by Shane Stokes
May 5, 2017
Pozdnyakov wins stage two of the Tour d’Azerbaidjan; Tvetcov, Neben take opening time trial at Redlands Bicycle Classic; Bardiani riders Pirazzi and Ruffoni test positive on eve of Giro d’Italia; Quintana: ‘I don’t know if it’s possible to win the Giro and the Tour in the same year’; Thomas: ‘Myself and Landa are not the favourites’; Pinot hoping to shine but says final buildup hasn’t been ideal; Jungels deflects pressure but is ready for Giro; Gaviria names goals for first Grand Tour; Van Damme still waiting to declare intentions about UCI presidency; Tour organisers and others push against Le Pen in French presidential election; Cannondale-Drapac announces team for Hammer Series; Video: Science of Cycling – how to be an elite cyclist; Video: Giro course recap; Video: Climber sprint
Italian wildcard team Bardiani-CSF faces an uncertainty over its participation in the Giro d’Italia after two of its riders provided positive A samples in pre race checks. Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni have been pinpointed with traces of an unnamed hormonal substance in their systems, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Pirazzi won the mountains classification in the 2013 Giro d’Italia, and also took a stage in 2014. He was 18th overall last season. Ruffoni is four years younger at 26, and is a sprinter. He took two stages plus the points classification in the recent Tour of Croatia.
The team is composed entirely of Italian riders and secured an invite to the Giro by virtue of its win in last year’s Italian Cup competition.
The anti-doping tests were conducted by the UCI out of competition. Both riders face possible dismissal from the team. However, perhaps more significantly, the outfit may find itself shunted out of the race before it even begins. Under UCI rules, specifically article 7.12.1 of its anti-doping regulations, two positives from the same team could earn it a suspension of between 15 and 45 days.
It remains to be seen how quickly the UCI will act, or indeed if the Giro organisers themselves will prevent the team from starting.