Bahrain-Merida rider Kanstantin Suitsou has tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test on 31 July 2018.
The UCI said that the test “was planned and carried was the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation,” suggesting that the Belarus rider was specifically targeted.
His team greeted the news “with extreme disappointment” and said that “In accordance with our zero tolerance policy, the rider has been suspended immediately.” Siutsou has the right to request an analysis of his B-sample.
Should the 36-year receive a ban, it would almost certainly end a professional career that has spanned 17 seasons.
Siutsou joined Bahrain-Merida last year, following a season with Dimension Data. Previously, he had ridden for Team Sky for four years and was part of its Tour de France-winning line-up in 2012 and 2013.
Turning pro with Itera in 2001, he rode for teams including Fassa Bortolo and Barloworld, and moved to Team Sky following four seasons with HTC-High Road, with whom he won a stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2009, has biggest career win.
Bahrain-Merida general manager Brent Copeland said: “This news is terribly disappointing, we are very severe with any wrong doing with regards to our internal health code, this behaviour is not accepted by our team and further procedures will be taken against the rider.”
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.