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Fabio Taborre tests positive for FG-4592

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Another minor rider tested positive, not major news admittedly. But this case has a few wrinkles that makes it interesting. Will we see team consequences for the first time?

The cold hard facts in the UCI statement are that Fabio Taborre of Androni-Giocattoli tested positive on June 16 for a substance called FG-4592. This is a new drug from the same general area of medicine as EPO, it is supposed to trigger the body to increase the production of natural EPO and thereby improve blood values in anemic patients (or performance hungry athletes as it turns out).  There have already been a few cases of this in the latest months, including race walkers and cyclist Carlos Oyarzun at the Pan-Am Games recently.

So cyclist playing with new fun drugs isn't exactly headline news the day after the TdF but the interesting part is that this may be the first time we see a new-ish UCI rule come into play. As this is the second positive within 12 months, Androni Giocattoli will face a 15-45 day suspension depending on a ruling by the UCI Disciplinary Commission. (Davide Appolloni was their first reported positive, also in June) The paragraph 7.12.1in the UCI AD rules open up for this possibility and it will be interesting to see how this is applied.

There seems to be a decent degree of discretion in  the rule and how it is to be applied and perhaps also a reasonable amount of chance for the team to have the suspension lifted if

a) at least one anti-doping rule violation has no reasonable prospect of being upheld, or

b) at least one Rider bears No Fault or Negligence for the anti-doping rule violation asserted, or

c) at least one anti-doping rule violation was committed by the Rider with no involvement of any Team member or staff and that the Team applied all due diligence and took all measures that could reasonably be expected in order to avoid the commission of anti-doping rule violations.

Given all this it will be a good first case to see how the UCI intend to use this new rule. Should Androni then have a third positive within 12 months hey could face a suspension of up to 12 months. In other words it is going to be a tense period for the Italian Pro Conti team.

*UPDATE*

The UCI Diciplinary commission decided to suspend Androni for 30 days, from Aug 1 to Aug 30.