Katusha face ban after Vorganov returns positive doping test


Katusha could face a ban from competition after the International Cycling Union (UCI) provisionally suspended Eduard Vorganov for violating anti-doping laws.

Vorganov is the second Katusha rider to fall foul of the UCI regulations in the last 12 months after Luca Paolini was excluded from the Tour de France following a positive test for cocaine.

Under UCI laws any team that has two riders returning positive samples in a 12-month period can face a ban, meaning Katusha could be barred from competing for up to 45 days should Vorganov's sanction be upheld.

The 33-year-old - who has been suspended by Katusha - was placed on the UCI's banned list on Friday after an adverse analytical finding from a sample taken on January 14, the rider testing positive for Meldonium.

The drug - which was only placed on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list this year - is said to increase endurance performance of athletes and improve rehabilitation.

"Team Katusha notes that the UCI has started a proceeding against Eduard Vorganov for a violation of the UCI anti-doping rules," a team statement read.

"We understand that the adverse analytical finding concerns the substance Meldonium (also known as Mildronate) which was placed on the prohibited list only on 1 Jan 2016. Team Katusha confirms that this substance has never been used by the team in any form and was not provided to the rider by the team.

"In accordance with Team Katusha's zero tolerance policy, Eduard Vorganov has been suspended from all team activities, effective immediately. 

"In the event that Eduard Vorganov took this product on his own initiative, Team Katusha will conduct an investigation as such conduct is in breach of the team's strict medical and anti-doping internal rules."