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Bennett out of Giro with Low Cortisol

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Team LottoNL-Jumbo's New Zealand climber George Bennett has been excluded from the Giro after a test showed low cortisol levels.

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

The MPCC have spoken. In a similar case to that of Christopher Horner on the eve of defending his Vuelta title, New Zealander George Bennett failed the UCI medical test on the day before the Giro d'Italia, . While his values were within the limit set by the UCI, the 25-year-old's LottoNL-Jumbo team is a member of the MPCC, who have much more stringent limits, stating that any rider showing low levels must not ride for 8 days after the test. Due to the fact that Yellow Lotto have presented their team, they will not be fielding a replacement.

To quote an official statement from the team: "George Bennett will not start the Giro d'Italia on Saturday due to health reasons. The team decided this after the New Zealand rider measured a slight decrease in cortisol levels, which may indicate a decline in health. Bennett cannot be replaced. The team today received an email from the UCI that low cortisol levels were measured..."

How could the result have come up? Well, there are several diseases which cause lack of cortisol, but assuming that fortunately for him he doesn't have any of them, It can also result from use of Cortisone. Weather he has a TUE, or whether it's for, well, slightly more nefarious purposes, I'll update this over the next day or two. The doping conspiracies are moving through my timeline already...