23 June 2020

Former Team Sky and Bahrain-Merida rider Kanstantsin Siutsou handed four-year ban for EPO positive

Former Belarusian cyclist Kanstantsin Siutsou has been handed a four-year ban after testing positive for EPO (Erythropoietin) in 2018.

The 37-year-old was found guilty of the doping offence by cycling’s governing body, the UCI, and will not be able to compete until September 2022.

Siutsou has ridden for a number of top teams including Bahrain-Merida and Team Sky (PA Images)

However Siutsou, who rode for a number of elite teams including Team Sky, Dimension Data and Bahrain-Merida, had already announced his retirement at the end of the 2018 season.

One of his major roles during his career was as a domestique to Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali during several of his Grand Tour challenges in 2017 and 2018.

Siutsou won one individual stage of the Giro d’Italia back in 2009 and was a part of the Team Sky squad which won the team time trial in 2013.

He also secured two overall stage race titles in the 2008 Tour de Georgia and 2018 Tour of Croatia.

EPO is one of the most high-profile drugs that has been used and abused in cycling since the 1990s.

The drug is used to increase the number of red blood cells in the body which in turn increases an athlete’s V02 capacity, thus improving their performance.

It was among the performance enhancing substances that Lance Armstrong used in all seven of his Tour de France victories before he was stripped of them in 2012 after it was proven he doped to win all of them.

Armstrong subsequently came out in an interview in 2013 to confirm his cheating.

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