Australian road cyclist suspended over alleged doping violation

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Australian road cyclist suspended over alleged doping violation

By Ian Chadband

Australia’s cycling world championship preparations have been overshadowed by the shock news that one of their team, road racer Rob Stannard, has been suspended for an anti-doping rule violation.

Stannard has denied using a prohibited substance after learning on Wednesday that he had been provisionally suspended by the sport’s governing body and will now miss the championships in Glasgow.

The 24-year-old from Sydney, who was due to compete in the men’s road race in the Scottish city on Sunday, revealed he had been notified by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that it considered he had committed a violation for offences in 2018 and 2019.

While confirming he was out of the 121-strong team for the multi-discipline championships, AusCycling, the sport’s governing body in Australia, added it was continuing to support the rider who competes professionally for Belgian outfit, Alpecin-Deceuninck.

Though the UCI did not put out a statement about Stannard, it said on its website the Sydney rider had been provisionally suspended for the “use of prohibited methods and/or prohibited substances”.

In a statement put out on the website of his management team Signature Sport on Wednesday, Stannard denied any wrongdoing, revealing the alleged violation happened at a time when he was competing for the Australian team, Mitchelton-Scott, now known as Team Jayco-AlUla.

Rob Stannard during his time at Australian team Mitchelton-Scott in 2019.

Rob Stannard during his time at Australian team Mitchelton-Scott in 2019.Credit: Getty

“I have been notified by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that it considers that I committed an anti-doping rule violation more than four years ago,” Stannard’s statement read.

“I have never intentionally or knowingly used a prohibited substance and will therefore ask for my case to be referred to the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal.


“I look forward to filing my defence and am confident of being exonerated and continuing my career.

“I will respect the confidentiality of the procedure and therefore will not be commenting further.”

AusCycling added in its own statement: “Regrettably, the provisional suspension for an anti-doping rule violation means that Mr Stannard will be unable to compete in the World Championships in Glasgow.

“We note that Mr Stannard rigorously rejects the stated reasons for the provisional suspension and has signalled his intention to appeal.

“AusCycling will continue to support Mr Stannard and will provide the UCI with whatever assistance it needs to swiftly resolve the matter.

“We will be making no further comment at this time.”

The news was a shock for the Australian team as the championships got under way on Wednesday.

Stannard had been due to be part of the eight-strong men’s team competing in Sunday’s blue riband event, the road race.

After launching his pro career with Mitchelton-Scott at the end of 2018, Stannard moved on to Alpecin-Deceuninck after making a strong impression over his first three seasons and went on to achieve the biggest win of his career for his new team at the 2022 Tour de Wallonie.

In a statement, Alpecin-Deceuninck said: “Stannard joined the team on January 1, 2022 on a two-year agreement that expires at the end of this year.


“This specific case dates back to 2018 and 2019, more than four years ago and more than three years before the transfer of Stannard to our team.

“We respect the decision of the UCI and will conform to this.

“In the meanwhile, we will further inform us with the rider, his management, and the UCI.”

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