Androni-Sidermec team manager Gianni Savio has confirmed that legal action will be taken against Davide Appollonio and Fabio Taborre following their positive anti-doping tests.

In August, Androni-Sidermec was suspended from racing for 30 days under new UCI rules for the two doping cases. The Italian team will return to action this weekend at the Brussels Cycling Classic and GP de Fourmies/La Voix du Nord.

Fabio Taborre was provisionally suspended by the UCI, the world governing body of athletics, after he tested positive for the developmental blood booster FG-4592. This drug was detected in an out-of-competition control on June 16. Taborre is likely to face a €100,000 fine by his team if his positive test is confirmed. FG-4592, also known as Roxadustat, has not yet been commercialized and is a compound that is still in phase 3 clinical trials. FG-4592 is taken in an oral form and has the potential of stimulating natural production of EPO in a manner similar to altitude training unlike the drug EPO that directly stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Taborre is the second cyclist to test positive for FG-4592 this year. Carlos Oyarzun of Chile was found positive for FG-4592 at the Pan Am Games in Toronto and was kicked out of the competition.

Appollonio was suspended by the UCI after testing of his June 14 out-of-competition sample showed evidence of EPO use. Appollonio is now facing a possible suspension of four years and may be slapped with a fine of €100,000 fine from his team and possibly additional damages under the terms and conditions of a zero-tolerance policy that the riders signed before the 2015 season.

Team manager Gianni Savio stated we have never put our riders under pressure. Savio added we have always applied zero tolerance to doping and said we would be intransigent and added that we have just required commitment, reliability, and loyalty. It was further claimed by Savio that he has done enough to stop doping within his team by making use of education and deterrents like the introduction of fines, clear race programs, and access to biological passports of riders.

Savio also remarked we are used to facing and overcoming adversity and therefore we will never surrender and will always continue to fight with our usual determination and tenacity. Savio said in a statement if the counter-analysis confirms the positivity, another stupid criminal has committed a crime that seriously damages our team. The Androni Giocattoli general manager said we will sue Davide Appollonio and Fabio Taborre, subject to confirmation of the positivity by the counter-analysis, as provided for by the sanitary regulations of the team undersigned by all the riders in front of Notary Marco Marvasio.

The Androni team has had many doping cases in the past. Francesco De Bonis tested positive for CERA in 2009 and Massimo Giunti tested positive for EPO in 2010. Francesco Reda missed doping controls in 2013 and he tested positive for EPO after he left the team. Patrick Facchini was found positive for a banned stimulant tuaminoheptane in 2014.

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