A former Vini Zabù rider has been banned for three years after testing positive at the Giro d’Italia.
Matteo Spreafico has been sanctioned by the UCI after he failed two doping tests during last year’s Giro, having tested positive for the banned substance enobosarm (ostarine), which can produce similar effects to anabolic steroids.
Spreafico was initially suspended on October 22 last year, when he was notified of an adverse analytical finding during anti-doping tests on October 15 and 16 during the 2020 Giro, while racing for the Vini Zabù team.
The team then fired the 28-year-old rider.
Spreafico has now accepted a three-year ban from the UCI, backdated to October 22, which means he will not be eligible to race until October 21, 2023.
He has also been stripped of all results from the 2020 Giro.
The suspension of Spreafico was the first of two doping offences inside the Vini Zabù team within a 12 month period, as Matteo De Bonis, 25, was then suspended after he tested positive for EPO during an out-of-competition test earlier this year.
Vini Zabù were then suspended from racing for 20 days by the UCI.
Following the announcement of De Bonis’s positive test, Italian police carried out raids on the team’s manager Angelo Citracca, sports director Luca Scinto and De Bonis, along with 22 other team members.
Citracca later told Cyclingnews that no banned substances were found during the searches and that the team were fully cooperating with police and the UCI.
Vini Zabù then pulled out of the 2021 Giro d’Italia, after initially being invited on a wild card.
The team is now asking fans to donate money so they can improve their anti-doping checks within the team.
Vini Zabù haven’t offered any specifics on what the new anti-doping measures would involve, but said: “We decided to open a crowdfunding because we repudiate doping and we want to fight it by creating a project that has worked well abroad but has never been done in Italy.”