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UCI anti-doping tribunal hands Kanstantsin Siutsou four-year suspension

The 36-year-old Belarusian tested positive for traces of the banned blood-booster in an out-of-competition control on July 31, 2018.

The UCI handed Kanstantsin Siutsou a four-year suspension Tuesday, after erythropoietin (EPO) was found in a testing sample, and a followup B-sample.

The 36-year-old Belarusian tested positive for traces of the banned blood-booster in an out-of-competition control on July 31, 2018.

The UCI said the control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.

Bahrain-Merida suspended him on September 4, 2018, when the UCI announced the initial adverse finding.

The team released a statement following the UCI’s 2018 announcement, citing its “deep disappointment” and said Siutsou was suspended immediately in accordance with the team’s “zero-tolerance policy.”

“This news is terribly disappointing,” said Bahrain-Merida general manager Brent Copeland in a statement. “We are very severe with any wrong-doing with regards to our internal health code. This behavior is not accepted by our team and further procedures will be taken against the rider.”

Siutsou has raced with some of the top teams in the peloton, including stints with HighRoad, Team Sky, and Dimension Data before joining Bahrain-Merida in 2017. He won a stage at the 2009 Giro d’Italia, won the overall of the 2008 Tour de Georgia and a stage and the overall at the Tour of Croatia in April of 2018.

Bahrain-Merida officials said that Siutsou was notified the previous June that he would not receive a contract extension.

The UCI said the control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.