(Reuters) - Italian riders Nicola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi have tested positive for the growth hormone GHRP in out-of-competition tests conducted last month, cycling’s governing UCI said on Thursday.
The two Bardiani–CSF riders, who were due to start the Giro d‘Italia on Friday, have been provisionally suspended.
The 30-year-old Pirazzi, who topped the Giro mountain classification in 2013, and 26-year-old Ruffoni have the right to request analysis of their B samples.
The Bardiani–CSF team will also be suspended for a period of between 15 and 45 days in line with the UCI’s anti-doping rules.
Bardiani said in a statement that it “intends to proceed with the immediate suspension of the riders from the squad present in the Giro d‘Italia” and from all cycling activities.
The team added that the riders will be immediately dismissed if the positive results are confirmed.
“We retain the possibility of further action to protect our image and that of our sponsors,” added Bardiani.
Reporting by Pritha Sarkar and John Stonestreet, additional reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Ken Ferris