Funvic Soul Brasil team facing second doping suspension

Team responds to latest accusations

The UCI have announced further anti-doping violations involving the Brazilian Professional Continental Funvic Soul Brasil Pro Cycling team, which had already begun the season with a suspension for multiple doping offences.

The UCI announced the Adverse Passport Finding against Alex Correia Diniz and his provisional suspension. The governing body also announced that "Autoridade Brasileira de Controle de Dopagem asserted an Anti-Doping Rule Violation for Tampering against the Brazilian rider Otavio Bulgarelli". Neither Diniz or Bulgarelli are contracted riders for the team in 2017 but raced with the team in 2016.

Diniz previously tested positive for EPO in 2009 and received a two-year ban from the sport. The 31-year-old signed with the Brazilian team in 2013 and made and instant impact by winning the queen stage of the Tour de San Luis and finishing third overall. His last race was the 2016 Tour of Taihu Lake where he placed 15th overall. Bulgarelli, 32, was the 2012 Brazilian national champion and last rode at the 2016 Volta a Portugal where he failed to finish stage 3.

The Funvic Soul Brasil team was suspended for 55 days for three doping cases in a 12-month period and was only allowed to start their 2017 season on February 12.

As a consequence of further multiple anti-doping violations, the team risks a suspension between 15 days to 12 months, dependent on the Disciplinary Commission which the UCI said will make its decision in "due course."

The Funvic Soul Brasil team most recently competed in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya WorldTour stage race where Murilo Affonso led the Mountain and points classification in the first few stages.

Colombian Ramiro Rincón Díaz and Brazilian João Marcelo Pereira Gaspar Kleber Da Silva Ramos tested positive for CERA last year, leading to the team's 55-day suspension to start the 2017 season.

On Tuesday the team acknowledged the doping cases but reiterated that its riders have been part of the UCI Biological Passport programme since last year. The team also joined the Mouvement pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC) association that follows stricter rules than the UCI.

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