The BMC team has suspended Swiss rider Thomas Frei after he tested positive for EPO.
The 25-year-old Frei was competing at the Giro del Trentino, but was withdrawn from the race following UCI notification that a sample submitted in March had shown evidence of EPO use.
“As a consequence, the BMC Racing Team and its members have made the decision to withhold Thomas Frei from competition, in accordance with the BMC Racing Team’s own policy,” the team announced Friday. “This should not be seen as pre-determination of guilt. The rider will now have to personally address the accusation.”
Frei retains the option of requesting a test of his B sample.
Frei’s suspension represents the third issued by the team in less than two weeks. On April 9 the team suspended former world champion Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio for their alleged involvement in an ongoing doping case in northern Italy.
The two were named in connection with an investigation of 35 riders, staff and doctors connected to a local pharmacist, Guido Nigrelli, based in Mariana Mantovana in Northern Italy.
The U.S.-licensed BMC squad is owned and sponsored by Swiss businessman Andy Rihs, the former sponsor of the Phonak cycling team, which ultimately folded after a series of doping scandals involving several riders, including Americans Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.