LA SPEZIA, Italy (AFP) — 27-year-old Matteo Rabottini has been suspended for 21 months for using the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO), the UCI has announced.
Rabottini tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control on August 7, 2014. He had been riding for team Neri Sottoli (now Southeast Pro Cycling) and was provisionally suspended on September 12, 2014, just ahead of the world championship road race. The Italian climbing specialist had been named to the Italian national squad, but was subsequently removed from the team.
He won the king of the mountains classification at the 2012 Giro d’Italia and also took a mountain stage win that year. He will be eligible to return to the peloton in May of 2016. He escaped the maximum two-year ban for this nature of offense due to his cooperation with the anti-doping authorities.