Patrik Sinkewitz (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) has been provisionally suspended after returning an adverse analytical finding for Recombinant Human Growth Hormone at the GP di Lugano on February 27.
The German is the first cyclist to be suspended after providing a blood sample positive for HGH. UCI press officer Enrico Carpani explained that the validated test for human growth hormone had not been publicised as the UCI wanted to retain an element of surprise in its testing.
“The UCI has always said human growth hormones were being tested but we didn't want to officially announce the date of scientific validation of the test in order to allow an element of surprise,” Carpani said. “Without making a pronouncement about Patrik Sinkewitz's case, who still can ask for a B sample analysis, we can say that the validation of the human growth hormone test is a major new step in the fight against doping."
Sinkewitz is provisionally suspended until a hearing panel is convened by the German Cycling Federation, and he has the right to request that his B sample be analysed.
Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone during the 2007 Tour de France while riding for T-Mobile, and he subsequently confessed to having undergone blood doping while riding for the team.
He served a one-year suspension and returned to competitive action with the PSK Whirlpool team in 2009, before joining his current squad last season.
The Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli team has moved to distance itself from Sinkewitz and said that the German rider will be fired if the positive test is confirmed.
“The team, which has always followed a strict line in he fight against doping […] will await the counter-analysis before deciding, and is ready to fire the rider on the spot if the positive test is confirmed,” read a statement from the Italian squad read.
“Moreover, the team underlines the necessity (and launches an explicit invitation to the UCI) to provide for more severe and forceful penalties, above all for doping cases stemming from the use of ‘heavy’ substances, such as this one.”