Robert Stannard receives backdated four-year suspension for 2018 doping violation

A doping case that dates back to 2018 involving Australian cyclist Robert Stannard has been resolved. The UCI announced on Tuesday that the 25-year-old has been handed a back-dated four-year suspension. The suspension starts from 17 August 2018, the date of the first abnormality detected in his Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), making him eligible to compete immediately.

Abnormalities in Biological Passport

“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,” the UCI press release stated. “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.”

Stannard raced with the Mitchelton-Scott Continental team in 2018 and served as a trainee for the WorldTour team. He achieved significant success, including a stage win at the under-23 Giro d’Italia and the under-23 Il Piccolo Lombardia. In 2019, he signed with the Mitchelton-Scott WorldTour team and competed with them through 2021, before moving to Alpecin-Deceuninck. News of his doping case emerged last August.

Stannard’s Response

Stannard has denied any wrongdoing. Since the notification, he has not competed, stating, “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.”

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