The UCI announced today that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed an appeal filed by Nicola Ruffoni against a four-year ban imposed on the rider in 2017.
Ruffoni tested positive for growth hormone releasing peptides (GHRPs) in an out-of-competition control taken April 25, 2017. In a sample taken two days later, Ruffoni's teammate Stefano Pirazzi tested positive for the same substance. The news of the positive broke just before Ruffoni and Pirazzi were due to start the Giro d'Italia with his Bardiani-CSF squad.
Although Bardiani were allowed to start the Giro d'Italia without substitutions for the banned riders, they were subsequently hit by a 30-day ban by the UCI for having two doping positives in a 12-month period.
Ruffoni denied wrongdoing, blaming the positive on changes in his diet and an infection he had in the month leading up to the doping control. "The thing that could be linked to the presence of growth hormone in my urine could be due to the serious prostate infection that I suffered between March 20 and April 20 and that forced me to stop my riding and forced me to take antibiotics," he said last year.