OFFICIAL: UCI rule four year doping suspension for Robert Stannard

Just a week or so after Miguel Angel Lopez was slapped with a four-year doping suspension, the UCI have ruled with a firm fist once again, this time in the case of former Alpecin-Deceuninck rider, Robert Stannard, who was riding for Mitchelton-Scott at the time of the transgression.

"The Tribunal found that Robert Stannard committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) of use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method due to unexplained abnormalities in his Biological Passport in 2018 and 2019. As a consequence, the Tribunal has imposed a four-year period of suspension on the rider as well as a monetary fine corresponding to 70% of his average annual salary in 2018 and 2019," reads an official announcement from the UCI.

"In accordance with the applicable rules, i.e. the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the Tribunal decided that the period of suspension shall start on 17 August 2018, i.e. the day of the appearance of the first abnormality, taking into account the delay with which the rider’s abnormalities were communicated to the UCI," the statement continues. "The decision is not final as it can be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) by the rider, his National Federation and National Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) within one month. The decision will be published on the UCI website once final."

As mentioned in the above statement from the UCI, the 25-year-old Australian will have a right to appeal the decision of the sport's governing body. Given his age also, it's not guaranteed to be the end of the former Tour de Wallonie winner's career in the professional peloton either. In the past, many riders have been able to return from a doping suspension and complete successful careers as a professional cyclist. Only time will tell if this will be the case with Robert Stannard.

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