Russian cyclist banned for taking EPO

Denis Galimzyanov faces two years out of cycling after a positive EPO test.

Galimzyanov (green) tested positive for EPO.
Galimzyanov (green) tested positive for EPO.
Image: Ng Han Guan/AP/Press Association Images

THE RUSSIAN CYCLIST Denis Galimzyanov has been suspended for two years after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO.

Galimzyanov, 25, failed a doping test in March and was provisionally banned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in April, from when his suspension will be backdated to.

The Katusha rider admitted his guilt at the time and refused the offer of a test of his B sample.

Galimzyanov is one of several recent doping breaches involving Katusha, who were refused a WorldTour licence for 2013.

Katusha general manager Vyacheslav Ekimov said the repeated infringements were the reason the team were denied a licence.

“We received a statement from the UCI, explaining to us the reasons for their decision,” he said.

“We were told Katusha have had the most doping cases among all the Pro Tour teams, citing four cases between 2009 and 2012.

“But one such case, involving Alexandr Kolobnev, should not count because he was later cleared of any doping charges.

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“The UCI also said Katusha don’t do enough tests within the team to catch doping cheats.

“They also blamed us for Denis Galimzyanov’s positive test, even though the rider had admitted that it was his own mistake.”

Katusha, who have already appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, will now have to be invited to participate in cycling’s biggest races.

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