Doping Ring Hits Giro: Rider, Commentator Petacchi Removed From Race

Professional cyclists Kristijan Koren of Slovenia and Croatian Kristijan Durasek have been suspended as police investigate an Austrian blood doping ring, cycling's world governing body the UCI said on Wednesday.

Two other retired riders, Italian Alessandro Petacchi and Slovenian Borut Bozic, have also been implicated in the Operation Aderlass investigation.

Join Pro to watch the Giro d'Italia live and on-demand

Koren, 32, who rides for the Bahrain team of Italian star Vincenzo Nibali, has been competing in the Giro d'Italia, which started this week and was 47th overall after Tuesday's fourth stage.

UAE Emirates' Durasek was riding in the Tour of California.

According to Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport, who organise the three-week Giro, sources "close to the dossier" claim that Koren and Bozic's implication dates back to 2012-2013.

Koren was riding for the Cannondale team at the time, while Bozic, whose 21 wins include a stage of the 2009 Tour of Spain, rode for Astana.

Durasek, 31, who won the Tour of Turkey in 2015, is alleged to have more recent links.

Petacchi In Spotlight

Petacchi, who won 48 Grand Tour stages including 22 on the Giro before retiring in 2015, has been cited by the UCI for a potential "use of prohibited methods."

The 45-year-old has also been temporarily dropped from his role as a television pundit on this year's Giro with Italian public broadcaster RAI.

"For us, nothing changes," said Raisport director Auro Bulbarelli.

"But, faced with these accusations, it is right that Alessandro has the opportunity to assess the situation with his lawyer.

"We believe it is appropriate to take a few days off to clarify all the details of this story."

Bozic retired last year and joined the Bahrain team management, but was not present on the Giro.

The Bahrain team, which has suspended Koren and Bozic, stressed that "the two cases concern the seasons of 2012 and/or 2013".

"The team is still conducting extensive medical checks (including a biological passport check) of any new riders signed," the team added.

The UCI said that both they and the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) "have been in close contact with the sport and state authorities involved in the Aderlass investigation, in particular with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Austrian law enforcement authorities".

Operation Aderlass concerns German doctor Mark Schmidt, who was arrested during the Nordic ski world championships in February in a blood doping scandal involving sports stars from 21 disciplines and eight nationalities.

Blood doping is a method whereby athletes have blood transfusions, to increase their stamina and performance, a method prohibited under World Anti-Doping Agency regulations.

Alaphalippe Stuns Favorites With Time Trial Victory

null

Julian Alapahilippe extended his overall lead at the Tour de France on Friday winning the 27.2km individual time-trial at Pau on stage 13 to keep the yellow jersey and send his home fans wild.

Dennis Says Quitting Tour Was 'Right Decision'

Australian Rohan Dennis said his abrupt withdrawal from the Tour de France was the 'right decision' ahead of Friday's time-trial, the discipline at which he is world champion.

TDF: Post-Giro, Yates Finds Redemption In Tour Win

Britain's Simon Yates won stage 12 of the Tour de France on Thursday, beating two other survivors of a mass breakaway in the Pyrenees.

Rohan Dennis Abandons Tour Without Explanation

Rohan Dennis climbed off his bike early in Thursday's 12th stage of the Tour de France and neither the Australian nor his Bahrain Merida team would offer an explanation.

Chris Froome Awarded 2011 Vuelta A Espana Victory

Chris Froome was upgraded from second place and officially declared winner of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana after champion Juan Jose Cobo's doping ban was confirmed.

Jumbo-Visma Scrutinized For Use Of Ketones

The Tour de France is again embroiled in a debate over what cyclists put in their bodies after Dutch team Jumbo acknowledged they were using a dietary aid believed to boost stamina.

Ewan Gets Revenge On Groenewegen In Stage 11

Australian Caleb Ewan picked up his first Tour de France stage win in a mass sprint at Toulouse on Wednesday as Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe kept the overall lead.

Brailsford: Ineos Poised For Tour Victory

null

Team Ineos boss Dave Brailsford said Tuesday his riders were perfectly poised for another Tour de France win at the halfway stage after 10 rollercoaster stages so far.

Ranking The Tour de France Favorites On The First Rest Day

The action packed 2019 Tour de France reached its halfway stage with several favourites getting blown down the standings by the wind on the road to Albi on Monday.

Wout Van Aert Wins Wind Whipped Stage 10

Dutch rookie Wout van Aert won stage 10 of the Tour de France on Monday as Julian Alaphilippe extended his overall lead after a blistering late charge split the peloton.