The Androni Giocatolli team says that the UCI has forced it to field Francesco Reda in races again, after the UCI in June asked for an anti-doping investigation of the Italian. The Professional Continental team said that it is complying with the request --”with which we absolutely don't agree” -- and sent Reda to the start of the GP de Fourmies on Sunday.
The team first held Reda out of races in March “to protect his health”, as the team press release said, although no details were given. He had started out very strongly in 2013, with two second place stage finishes in the Tour Med, giving him third overall. He was also second in the Trofeo Laigueglia, seventh in the GP Citta de Camaiore and eighth in the Strade Bianchi.
After the team-required “health pause,” Reda returned to racing in late May, but on June 21, the team suspended him, “because the International Cycling Union had requested the Italian Cycling Federation to open a disciplinary investigation against him for potential violation of the anti-doping rules.” Those violations were said to have been missing doping controls.
Since then Reda has continued to receive his salary, the team said.
Now, however, “the U.C.I. has forced us to re-integrate the rider although the disciplinary proceedings are still open against him. We can take note of it, and - in compliance with a decision, that is unique in our opinion and with which we absolutely don’t agree, we will enter the rider in the Grand Prix de Fourmies, scheduled for Sunday 8th September,” the team said in its press release issued Saturday.
There was no indication of why the UCI has required this action.