Luca Paolini Tests Positive For Cocaine During Tour de France

On Tuesday, Tour de France rider Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine, according to SB Nation. Paolini has already been thrown out of the Tour de France but he has the right to request a B sample and appeal the case.

Team Katusha released the following statement about Luca Paolini.

“Team Katusha has been informed tonight by the UCI that Italian rider Luca Paolini has been notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding. The presence of cocaine has been detected in a sample collected on July 7. According to the UCI Regulations the rider has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect. In application of the Team policy the rider has been immediately withdrawn from the Tour de France. Bearing in mind the anti doping regulations, the team will wait until the analysis of the B sample has been conducted before taking any further action or making any further comment. Team Katusha is fully determined to collaborate with the anti-doping agencies in order to resolve the matter.”

Although cocaine is not forbidden by the UCI outside of competition, while partaking in a competition, the illegal drug is not allowed to be used. It is possible that Paolini used the drug before the Tour de France began last week and he did not intend to use it as a performance enhancer. UCI takes the date that the substance was found and determines if the rider should be ejected or not, that is why a B sample is dire in Paolini case.

Thirty-eight-year-old Paolini is one of the oldest riders in the Tour de France. This year Paolini won the Gent-Wevelgem as one of the 39 riders to finish the race out of 160 due to bad weather. Luca Paolini was expected to be a support sprinter for Alexander Kristoff and climbing specialist Joaquin Rodriguez during the Tour de France.

The UCI issued a statement of Friday, according to Cycling Weekly.

“In accordance with UCI Anti-doping Riles, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.”

Paolini finished 172nd, about 17 minutes behind stage winner Tony Martin, on Tuesday’s stage. As of right now, Luca Paolini will not be starting on Saturday for the next stage of the Tour de France and only time will tell what will happen with Paolini if his B sample comes back positive or negative of the substance.

[Photo by Bryn Lennon/ Getty Images]