The UCI has announced that Vacansoleil-DCM rider Nikita Novikov has been provisionally suspended after failing an out of competition anti-doping test for Hydroxy-ostarine/O Dephenyl-ostarine in a urine sample collected on 17th May 2013.
Hydroxy-ostarine/O Dephenyl-ostarine is steroid that helps increase muscles strength and increases lean body mass.
Novikov has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample but remains suspended until a disciplinary hearing convened by the Russian Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.
Vacansoleil-DCM team manager Daan Luijkx said he was disappointed about the news. Luijkx has been trying to find a new sponsor for the Dutch team but this latest doping case in the team will be a blow to his hopes of securing the team's future.
Novikov had an impressive season as an Under 23 rider in 2011, finishing third in the mountainous Giro della Valle d'Aosta despite his background as a track rider. He rode for the Itera-Katusha team at the time but jonied Vacansoleil-DCM in 2012 instead of the Katusha WorldTour team. He finished 26th in Thursday's GP Kanton Aargau – Gippingen just a few hours before his positive test was announced.
“At the end of 2011 we hired this young talent for two years. Since that time he didn’t manage to reach his old level in our environment despite all the efforts of our team. It needs no clarification that as a team we are devastated by this," he said in a statement on the team's website.
"As a team you try to give your riders a safe environment with good coaching and staff and that makes it very disappointing when a rider does something wrong, like it appears this is the case now. When I talked to the rider last night, after the UCI informed us, he said he had no idea how the substance got in his body.”
“I strongly believe the sport is on his way up and I am sorry for the sport that this happens but it is good that possible breaches of the rules are traced.”