Former Vacansoleil rider Nikita Novikov has been handed a two-year ban by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, for the use of banned substances.
“Based on the findings of the Disciplinary Committee of the Anti-Doping decided to disqualify the athlete Nikita Novikov for 2 years,” stated the short statement on the RUSADA website.
The Russian tested positive, after an out of competition test, for the steroids hydroxy-ostarine and o-dephenyl-ostarine, in May of last year. Both drugs help to promote muscle mass and muscle strength.
Novikov turned professional with the, now defunct, Vacansoleil team in 2012, after four years on the Itera-Katusha development squad. He showed good promise at the Russian continental team, but failed to replicate that in the WorldTour. His only notable result was 14th at the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque. Novikov only competed in 10 races before his suspension last June.
The ban will be backdated to the date of his suspension, and will end on June 6, 2015. Russian cycling has been under the microscope at the Russian anti-doping agency, with three other riders being handed sanctions in the last month.