Spreafico gets three-year ban for doping positive during 2020 Giro d'Italia

Matteo Spreafico (Vini Zabu) tested positive at the 2020 Giro d'Italia
Matteo Spreafico (Vini Zabu) tested positive at the 2020 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The UCI announced Tuesday that it has handed down a three-year suspension to Matteo Spreafico after he returned a positive test in a doping control at the 2020 Giro d'Italia. The former Vini Zabù rider will not be able to compete until October 21, 2023.

Spreafico returned two Adverse Analytical Findings for the Selective Androgen Receptor Modulator (SARM) Enobosarm, otherwise known as Ostarine, in tests carried out on October 15 and 16,  which were stage 12 to Cesenatico and stage 13 to Monselice, at last year's Giro d'Italia. 

Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM fired Spreafico last October and the team's general manager Angelo Citracca told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Spreafico confessed to Italian police, saying that the rider ordered a supplement containing the drug – which is claimed to build muscle and aid weight loss – over the internet.

In its statement, the UCI noted that Spreafico has accepted the three-year suspension, which is the consequence that is provided for by the World Anti-Doping Code (WADA) and the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations (ADRV).

"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the Italian rider Matteo Spreafico has been sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of three years following an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) for the presence of  Enobosarm (Ostarine)[1] in two samples collected during the Giro d’Italia 2020 on 15 and 16 October 2020.

"In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations, the period of ineligibility starts on 22 October 2020 and is effective until 21 October 2023.

"Mr. Spreafico has also been disqualified from all competitive results obtained at the Giro d’Italia 2020.

"The case has been resolved by way of an acceptance of consequences as provided for by the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations.

"The UCI will not comment any further."

Spreafico started racing as a trainee in 2012 and signed his first Professional Continental contract with Androni-Giocattoli in 2017, where he stayed through most of 2020 before signing with Vini Zabù-KMT beginning on July 31. It was with Vini Zabù-KMT that he competed in a selection of races as part of the truncated calendar that included the Giro d'Italia last October.

The sport governing body confirmed that Spreafico has been disqualified from all of his results obtained at the Giro d'Italia last year.

In April, the UCI had also banned Vini Zabù for 30 days after two doping cases in the during a period of 12 months. Matteo De Bonis tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control on February 16, which was the second doping case in the same twelve-month period after Spreafico.

The ban was backdated to April 7, the date that Vini Zabù withdrew itself from competition, and will end on May 6, two days before the start of this year’s Giro d’Italia in Turin. 

The team withdrew itself from the Giro d’Italia and race organiser, RCS Sport, awarded the wild card invitation to the Androni Giocattoli team.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.