Denis Galimzyanov banned for two years as Vyacheslav Ekimov defends Katusha record
Russian rider Denis Galimzyanov has been given a two-year suspension following his positive test for EPO.
Last Updated: 20/12/12 10:54am
The 25-year-old sprinter failed the doping test in March and was provisionally suspended in April, from where his official ban will be backdated to.
Galimzyanov, whose biggest win came in the Paris-Brussels semi-classic last year, admitted his guilt and declined the offer of a test of his B sample.
Galimzyanov's test is one of a number of recent doping cases involving Katusha riders, and general manager Vyacheslav Ekimov says the International Cycling Union (UCI) have told him the frequent violations are the reason the team was denied a WorldTour licence for 2013.
As well as Galimzyanov, Antonio Colom, Christian Pfannberger and Alexandr Kolobnev have all tested positive since 2009, although the latter's violation was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"We received a statement from the UCI, explaining to us the reasons for their decision," Ekimov said.
"We were told Katusha have had the most doping cases among all the Pro Tour teams, citing four cases between 2009 and 2012. But one such case, involving Alexandr Kolobnev, should not count because he was later cleared of any doping charges."
He added: "The UCI also said Katusha don't do enough tests within the team to catch doping cheats. They also blamed us for Denis Galimzyanov's positive test, even though the rider had admitted that it was his own mistake."