Russian cycling team Katusha will not be suspended despite two riders failing drug tests within a 12 month period, the International Cycling Union said on Tuesday.

Last week, Katusha suspended Russian rider Eduard Vorganov after he tested positive for the Latvian-made anti-ischemia drug meldonium, which boosts oxygen supply to the blood and tissues in the body.

That came only seven months after Italian Luca Paolini was kicked out of the Tour de France after testing positive for cocaine.

But the UCI said in a statement: “The conditions for a suspension of Team Katusha… have not been met.”

It added: “With regard to the (Paolini case, it has been) established that the rider’s taking of cocaine was not related to an intention to influence sporting performance but was rather taken on a ‘recreational’ basis.”

The UCI’s disciplinary commission concluded that to ban the whole team would be “inappropriate and disproportionate”. – Agence France-Presse

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