The Italian National Anti-Doping Agency has provisionally suspended former Novo Nordisk Team Type 1 cyclist Andrea Ciacchini after he returned a positive test result for the banned substance Cocaine following an in competition test at the amateur Classica della Pieve event held in Pieve di San Luce on 9 May. The 31 year-old Ciacchini finished 9th in his age group at the event.

This is not Ciacchini’s first doping incident. As a professional, doping controversy prevented him from finishing his debut season (2013). It turned out to be the last of his career and instead of pushing on the pedals to show the world that his diabetes could not stop him from achieving cycling success, he endured a long legal battle to defend his integrity from accusations of having taken prohibited substances. In the end, he was never convicted of doping.

The experience was personally very hard on Ciacchini. “I suffered a lot, at first I really let myself go. I put on a lot of weight and ended up totally in disarray. Nobody should experience the darkness of depression . I still carry the marks of this experience on me, my character reveals its aftermath. Like after a fall, however, you have to get up again, all this pain has strengthened me . My motto has always been “not all evils come to harm,” he told TUTTOBICIWEB in 2020.

Nonetheless, he gave up on his pro cycling dream, but like so many cyclists his love for riding and racing never died out. Eventually he returned to the amateur side of the sport to clearly show by example there are no limits for those with diabetes.

As part of the revised 2021 World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) code, penalties for athletes using non-performance enhancing substances abused in society outside of the context of sport (i.e. concaine, marajuana, alcohol, etc.) are only subject to a maximum three month ban, rather than the previous automatic four-year sanction.

PHOTOS: Novo Nordisk