Roberto Ciervo (ASD TEAM CICLOAMATORI CASERTA) who finished 2nd at Gran Fondo Città di Latina in Italy on June 9 has returned positive test results for the substances Prednisone and Prednisolone after a control test at the end of the event.

These substances are banned by the World Anti Doping Agency and the Italian affiliate, NADA Italia, has suspended Ciervo pending a hearing.

Prednisone is a glucocorticosteroid most commonly used to suppress the immune system and treat inflammatory, auto-immune and cancer diseases.  It is not to be confused with the anabolic variety of steroids more commonly associated with increasing muscle mass and VO2 to help athletes go beyond their natural abilities.

Glucocorticosteroids are performance enablers that some research has shown in large doses increases cardiac output, causes mood elevation, euphoria and increased motor activity.  Most glucocorticosteroids can be used out-of-competition.

Nonetheless, the World Anti-Doping Code is based on the principle of strict liability – every athlete, no matter what level, is solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body, regardless of how it got there or whether there was an intention to cheat or not.

Amateur cyclists can easily check the prohibited status of medications before use by visiting Global Drug Reference Online to find out if a drug is banned.  The site is funded and supported by the official anti drug sports agencies of Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland, Japan and  Australia.