Former Katusha rider Giampaolo Caruso has been banned for two years for taking EPO following a retest two years ago of a sample taken from him in 2012.
The 36-year-old Italian was revealed to have tested positive for the banned blood booster in August 2015, shortly after completing what proved to be his final race, the Tour de France.
World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, communicated the decision of its UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal in a press release this afternoon.
It said: “The matter resulted from the reanalysis of a sample provided by Giampaolo Caruso in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 27 March 2012, which revealed the presence of Erythropoietin.
“The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation and imposed a two-year period of ineligibility on the rider.
“In accordance with the Procedural Rules of the Anti-Doping Tribunal, the decision will shortly be published on the UCI website,” it added.
While a first offence now results in a ban from competition of four years, the shorter suspension in this case reflects the rules in force at the time of Caruso’s positive test.
Since he was provisionally suspended on 18 August 2015, Caruso's ban is mostly backdated and will therefore expire in three months’ time on 17 August.
In 2006, when he rode for Liberty Seguros, Caruso was among the riders implicated in the Operacion Puerto doping scandal.
CONI, the Italian national Olympic committee, sought a two-year ban but the Court of Arbitration for Sport acquitted the rider.
Caruso’s biggest career win was in the Milano-Torino one-day race in 2014, while in 2009 he took the overall win at the Italian stage race, the Brixia Tour.
He twice finished just off the podium in Monuments, finishing fourth at both the Giro di Lombardia in 2005 and at Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2014.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.