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.
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.