Fourth Place Epic Finisher, Riccardo Chiarini, has tested positive for EPO

Italian mountain biker Riccardo Chiarini has tested positive for unusually high levels of EPO. Chiarini, who finished fourth overall in the 2014 Absa Cape Epic with partner Roel Paulissen of Belgium (Team Torpado Factory) will face a lifetime ban from the event if the finding is confirmed. The former road professional was tested out-of-competition on May 7 this year by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

The Absa Cape Epic last year introduced a zero tolerance approach to doping where anybody found guilty of an offence committed after December 31, 2012, would be banned from the event for life. “As things stand, therefore, Chiarini is suspended from the Absa Cape Epic and will be given a lifetime ban if the finding is confirmed,” said Absa Cape Epic spokesperson Chris Whitfield.

Chiarini and Paulissen won the fith stage of the Epic and at least one of them would have been tested by the South African Institute for Drug Free Sport (SAIDS), which carried out the testing at the Absa Cape Epic for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). SAIDS has not yet released its findings.

Because Chiarini’s out-of-competition test was carried out after the Absa Cape Epic ( he was tested on 7 May by the UCI), it does not effect his 2014 race results.
The team sponsor Torpado (the Italian bicycle manufacturer) has been informed of the positive test results and has suspended the Chiarini with immediate effect pending any appeal.