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Grabovskyy admits to alcohol abuse during Quick Step years

Ukrainian Dmytro Grabovskyy came to the ProTour full of promise, but his initiation into the sport's top tier nearly killed him. Lonely and bored through the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the former under-23 World champion drank himself into oblivion, twice to a point close to death. However, after settling at ISD-Neri in 2009, the 24-year-old is back on track, he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

In 2005, Grabovskyy claimed the European Under-23 time trial championship and then later that autumn went on to become Under-23 World Champion in the road race, taking second in the time trial. That result, and a close second in the Baby Giro in 2006, earned him a coveted spot on the Quick Step team as a trainee, and a subsequent two-year deal with the Belgian ProTour squad.

However, all was not well in his time with that team. The results did not come, and as boredom turned to depression Grabovskyy turned to the bottle. “After some disappointments at Quick Step, I landed on the wrong track," Grabovskyy said. "Something snapped in me and I had many problems. I had too much free time. I was lonely and bored. After training I went to the seaside to party, for drinks and women.”

He confessed his downward spiral had seen him come close to death from alcohol poisoning on two occasions, but made the point that, "I have never taken drugs.”

In 2009, the Ukrainian rode for the Professional Continental team ISD-Neri, where he was able to bring in two fifth place stage finishes at the Giro d'Italia. His most recent professional season appears to have settled Grabovskyy's previously wayward temprament and he said, “I have now rehabilitated my life. In my refrigerator there is nothing but water, and I'm training in Italy with Yaroslav Popovych and Andriy Grivko.”

Despite his confidence that his troubled past is behind him, Grabovskyy is yet to confirm a new team for the 2010 season.

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