Andrea Piccolo fired by EF Education-EasyPost on suspicion of transporting banned substances

It doesn't seem that Andrea Piccolo will ever get to run a full length of a contract with a team during his professional career. After brief stints at Astana, Gazprom and Drone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli, it seemed that the Italian found his place in the American WorldTour EF Education-EasyPost, however sudden news mean that's no longer the case.

Earlier this season, we have seen Andrea Piccolo at the Giro d'Italia, from which he dropped out after a crash during the third week. Before that he managed fourth in stage 6. Last year, Piccolo even made a short appearance in the leader's red jersey at Vuelta a Espana after second day of the Spanish grand tour.

"EF Pro Cycling has terminated Andrea Piccolo's contract, effective immediately. Piccolo was suspended internally without pay in March after taking a sleeping aid that was not approved by the team, though legal. The team reported the usage to the UCI immediately, but due to legal reasons surrounding the UCI standard rider contract, we were unable to terminate his contract at the time," the team reveals it was not their first trouble with the 23-year-old Italian in a brief statement.

For a moment, it seemed that Piccolo has learnt his lesson and might be able to restore trust with his team, even making a Giro d'Italia lineup in May. However a period of calm didn't last for long as Italian authorities came for Piccolo on Friday. "After serving his suspension, he returned to competition at the Giro d'Italia. On June 21, Piccolo was stopped by Italian authorities upon entering the country on suspicion of transporting human growth hormone. Our organization will cooperate fully with any investigation into the matter, and we encourage Andrea to be open and truthful with anti-doping authorities."

We wait for updates in this case.

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