Cycling News

One of the top gran fondo riders in Italy tests positive for steroids

One of the top gran fondo riders in Italy tests positive for steroids

Top amateur gran fondo cyclist Fabio Cini, is facing a preliminary suspension from the Italian National Anti-Doping Court. The suspension stems from an alleged positive test for the prohibited anabolic steroid Stanozolol on Feb. 17 during the 19th edition of Ricordando Marco Pantani, an event that Cini won. That is the same drug that Canadian Ben Johnson tested positive for at the 1988 Olympics Games.

Team has been on anti-doping agency’s radar

Cini, 35, rides for the MG Kvis team–which has also been under scrutiny recently. Shortly after the start of the Gran Fondo Laigueglia, on Feb. 25 a week after the event in which Cini tested positive, the NAS (Carabinieri for Health Protection) showed up to conduct surprise targeted anti-doping checks. Guided by a marshal, the NAS officially requested the roster of gran fondo participants from the event organizers. Subsequently, they intercepted the athletes pinpointed at the conclusion of the race. The testing took place in two designated hotel rooms provided by the event organizers.

Spoke out about registered testing pool

In total, six riders from the MG Kvis underwent testing. Noteworthy contributors from the team in the race included women’s champion Giulia Medri and the consistently podium-placing Federico Pozzetto.

According to Gran Fondo Daily, the folks at NADO have had their sights on Cini for a while.
In 2022, he had to join the NADO Italia Registered Testing Pool (RTP) program. Gran Fondo Daily even found a now-deleted Facebook post in which he strangely attributed his subpar performance that season to the random testing linked to the RTP.

The RTP anti-doping program maintains a biological passport for each athlete and subjects them to potential anti-doping tests around the clock, every day of the year, at any location without prior notification. The program primarily focuses on professional athletes and elite amateurs aspiring to transition into the professional realm, as determined by NADO for close monitoring. Amateur gran fondo cyclists are seldom included unless there is reason to suspect doping.

RTP doesn’t usually follow gran fondo riders

Presently, the NADO RTP follows 286 Italian athletes, with only three being amateur gran fondo cyclists: Fabio Cini, Tommaso Elettrico, and Onofrio Monzillo. Monzillo, by the way, recently received a three-year ban for EPO use, and was also given an additional eight-year ban for further violations. Consequently, he is ineligible to participate in…

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