By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2001
Former women’s world road race champion Zinaida Stahurskaia of Belarus has been handed a four-month, off-season suspension by cycling’s world governing body UCI Friday after failing a dope test in June. The ban from the International Cycling Union (UCI) was confirmed by officials from the Belarus cycling federation in Minsk on Friday. The 30-year-old Stahurskaia, who tested positive for a banned diuretic in the women’s Tour of Italy, was banned from defending her title at the world road race championships in Lisbon, Portugal, last month in accordance with UCI regulations.
Stahurskaia confirmed she used the diuretic for 10 days to lose weight but added she never knew the drug was included in the list of banned substances. It is included because it can be used as a “masking agent” to cover up the use of other substances. The Belarus federation officials said they asked the UCI to warn Stahurskaia and fine her as her test showed only trace amounts of the drug. The UCI, however, rejected that proposal and, according to Belarus cycling officials, Stahurskaia has been suspended for one month of competition, or four months of non-competition. She was also fined 1000 Swiss francs ($600).