Cycling-Italian rider Gazzoli handed one-year ban for non-intentional doping

(Reuters) - Italian rider Michele Gazzoli has been given a one-year suspension for a non-intentional anti-doping violation, cycling's governing body UCI said on Thursday.

Gazzoli's team Astana-Qazaqstan described the violation as "unfortunate" but terminated the 23-year-old's contract with immediate effect, citing their zero tolerance policy.

The UCI said it had found the presence of Tuaminoheptane, a decongestant and stimulant prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency, during an in-competition test at the Volta ao Algarve on Feb. 17.

According to a statement from Astana, Gazzoli said he unintentionally ingested the substance after using a nasal spray purchased independently at a pharmacy for the treatment of rhinitis.

"Astana Qazaqstan Team categorically emphasizes that the team has nothing to do with this unfortunate violation of the anti-doping rule by the rider Michele Gazzoli," the statement added.

Gazzoli's suspension began on Aug. 10 and he will be eligible to return to competition on the same date next year, the UCI said. Additionally, his result from the Volta ao Algarve will be disqualified.

Gazzoli, who joined Astana at the start of the season, last competed at the Tour de Pologne from July 30-Aug. 5.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Hyderabad; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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