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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.