The Russian Katusha team will be called before a UCI disciplinary committee to explain a second doping offence in 12 months and could be suspended by cycling’s world governing body.
After Luca Paolini was expelled from the 2015 Tour de France for testing positive for cocaine, Russian Eduard Vorganov was found to have taken Meldonium in an out-of-competition test, the UCI announced on Friday.
A statement from the UCI read: “This constitutes the second AAF (adverse analytical finding) for a member of the UCI WorldTeam Katusha within a 12-month period.
“Therefore, the UCI will refer the matter to the Disciplinary Commission which will render a decision in the coming days.”
Meldonium is listed among “hormone and metabolic modulators” and was added to the prohibited substances list on January 1, 2016.
Article 7.12.1 of the UCI Cycling Regulations states: “If two riders and/or other persons within a team ... are notified within a 12-month period of an adverse analytical finding ... after a review under Article 7.5 or other asserted anti-doping rule ... the team shall be suspended from participation in any international event for a period determined by the president of the UCI Disciplinary Commission or a member of the Disciplinary Commission.”
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Katusha released their own statement, saying Vorganov had been suspended.
It added: “In the event that Eduard Vorganov took this product on his own initiative, Team Katusha will conduct an investigation as such conduct is in breach of the team’s strict medical and anti-doping internal rules.
“With that said, Eduard Vorganov awaits the results of his B sample, and Team Katusha respects and will adhere to the process of the anti-doping authorities and will not comment further at this time.
“Team Katusha would like to emphasize that it takes all possible measures in order to avoid anti-doping rule violations within its team and is fully committed to fight doping. Team Katusha is obviously extremely disappointed that a situation like this could occur despite these measures.”