Cycling News

Italian Gran Fondo rider tests positive second time in 3 years

Huge doping bust in Portugal sees 7 pros receive 25 years worth of bans

Talk about doubling down on dope. On Monday, the National Anti-Doping Organization of Italy (NADO Italia) charged 31-year-old Lorenzo Sbrana with an anti-doping violation after allegedly testing positive for Tuaminoheptane.

This marks the second instance in the past three years where Sbrana has tested positive for substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). In 2021, he tested positive for Methylprednisolone.

Corticosteroid abuse

Prednisolone, a corticosteroid, can be used in cycling and other sports for its anti-inflammatory properties. Athletes might abuse it to alleviate pain or inflammation from injuries, which could enhance performance or allow them to recover more quickly. However, its use is prohibited in competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) because it can provide an unfair advantage and potentially pose health risks. Detection of prednisolone in an athlete’s system during testing can lead to anti-doping violations and penalties.

Italian anti-doping authorities surprise amateur team for testing at Laigueglia Gran Fondo

Most recently, Sbrana, finished 4th in the men’s 30-34 category at the Classica Del Parrana race in Tuscany on April 6.

Tuaminoheptane banned for 13 years

Since 2011, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has banned the use of Tuaminoheptane. It is a nasal decongestant and stimulant, can potentially benefit cyclists in several ways. Firstly, it can help alleviate nasal congestion, which is especially useful during intense physical activity where breathing efficiency is crucial. By clearing nasa l passages, it may improve airflow and oxygen intake, aiding endurance and performance. Additionally, as a stimulant, Tuaminoheptane can increase alertness and reduce feelings of fatigue, potentially enhancing focus and energy levels during long rides or races.

Sbrana is presently suspended from all sports activities on a provisional basis until the NADO Italia reaches a decision.

Doping à la fondo

Remarkably, this is far from the first time amateurs have been caught for dope in gran fondos in Italy. Fabio Cini is suspended for a positive test for the banned anabolic steroid Stanozolol during the 19th edition of Ricordando Marco Pantani, an event he won. This drug is the same one for which Canadian Ben Johnson tested positive during the 1988 Olympic Games.

Cini’s 37-year-old teammate, Domenico Antonio Nigro, was served a five-year ban from the National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) following a positive…

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