The UCI has forbidden Patrik Sinkewitz, the German rider last month banned for eight years for doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, from riding the Croatian race the Istrian Spring Trophy, which starts today.
Croatian team Meridiana-Kamen, which Sinkewitz joined in 2012, also organises the UCI Europe Tour race and had named Sinkewitz in its team, giving him the race number 1.
As we reported earlier today, the race organisers had told the website ProCyclingStats that neither Meridiana-Kamen nor the UCI had suspended the rider and that he was thereofre "clear to race."
But in a statement sent to road.cc this morning, a UCI spokesman confirmed that Sinkewitz would not be permitted to start today's Prologue, saying:
As Patrik Sinkewitz was suspended for eight years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport following its decision of 24th February 2014 for the presence of recombinant growth hormone (recGH) in a urine sample collected on 27th February 2011 during the Grand Prix de Lugano, the rider from the UCI Continental Team Meridiana Kamen Team, was today forbidden to take the start of the Istarsko proljece – Istrian Spring Trophy, a race on the UCI Europe Tour calendar.
The length of the ban reflects that it is the second time the German has been disciplined for doping. The first came after it was revealed during the 2007 Tour de France that he had tested positive for testosterone.
T-Mobile (his then team) sacked him for refusing to have his B sample tested. Sinkewitz later admitted having used EPO and undergoing blood transfusions and said his positive test was due to a testosterone gel. He received a one-year ban in November 2007.
For a UCI Continental team - the same level that Great Britain's Rapha Condor JLT, Team Raleigh and Velosure-Giordana Racing Team - Meridiana-Kamen does have a habit of hitting worldwide headlines once a year or so thanks to its recruitment policy of signing big-name riders with a tainted past that other teams shy away from.
In June 2011, it signed Riccardo Riccò, sacked four months earlier Vacansoleil-DCM after he was hospitalised when a self-administered blood transfusion at home went wrong. The FCI, Italy's national federation, immediately suspended Riccò for the sake of his own health.
In 2012, it engaged Davide Rebellin, who had been given a two-year ban in 2009 and stripped of Olympic silver after he failed a doping control for CERA following the men’s road race at Beijing in 2008.
As road.cc user Farrell suggests in the comments below, the latest episode involving Sinkewitz smacks of a deliberate ploy based on the old adage that no publicity is bad publicity, perhaps?
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.