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by Shane Stokes
May 20, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Gaviria nets fourth victory on stage 13 of Giro d’Italia; Garfoot continues Orica-Scott’s success in Emakumeen Bira with stage 3 win; Weening wins stage 3 of the Tour of Norway; Evtushenko wins stage 1 of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon; Pirazzi and Ruffoni sacked by Bardiani-CSF team after confirmation of B-sample positive; Battered and bruised, Thomas quits Giro d’Italia; Van Garderen: I don’t know why it is not working; Nicky Hayden in ‘extremely critical’ condition following Wednesday’s bike crash; Ullrich resigns from Rund um Köln position; Vulpine – what went wrong?; Belda positive for EPO; Video: Giro d’Italia Backstage Pass – Stage 13 Pre Race; Video: Sagan and the fans at the Amgen Tour of California
Two weeks after the bombshell news that Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni had tested positive for GH-Releasing Peptides, their Bardiani-CSF team has confirmed that the B samples have verified the initial result and that they have been fired.
“With reference to the official communication received from the UCI that confirms the positivity of the analysis of B samples belonging to Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni, Bardiani-CSF Pro Cycling announces the start of sacking for both the athletes, as established in team health rules in case of violation and part of the contract signed by each riders of the team.”
Under UCI rules regarding multiple positive tests from the same team, the Italian Pro Continental squad is facing a suspension of between 15 and 45 days. However media reports on Friday have suggested that the Disciplinary Commission responsible for setting the sanction is unlikely to meet before the end of the Giro, meaning that the team should be able to continue until the end.
While some will feel frustrated with the slow pace at which the disciplinary system works, not least the other teams who were passed over for a wildcard invite, the squad has faced a serious blow to its image. The team said that it may try to recoup the losses.
“Bardiani-CSF reserves the right to proceed with a legal action against Pirazzi and Ruffoni to protect the image of the team and its sponsor,” it said. However regaining the Giro organisers’ trust may prove to be a bigger challenge.