28 year-old amateur cyclist Lorenzo Sbrana has been provisionally suspended after returning a positive result for the banned substance Methylprednisolone, following a competitive check ordered by the Italian Anti Doping Organization.

A frequent participant in Italian gran fondo races for TEAM STEFAN, Sbrana tested positive at the Classic della Pieve Manifestation event held in Pieve San Luce on 9 May 2021 where he finished 6th in his age category. A strong rider in gran fondos, Sbrana finished 2nd at the fall classic Gran Fondo Il Lombardia in 2018 and 3rd at Granfondo Poggi di Maremma in 2019.

Prednisolone is a corticosteroid banned from use in athletic events by the World Anti Doping Agency. It is commonly prescribed to help with recovery from illnesses such as bronchitis, asthma, back pain, broken bones, etc. Combined with the body’s naturally produced cortisol it significantly helps the body recover and heal faster by reducing inflammation.

While their is no evidence the drug increases VO2, trained endurance sports athletes taking Prednisolone just prior to an event often report feeling amazing, alert, rested and full of “super energy.” A 2016 randomized controlled medical trial suggests that the effects of a short-term Prednisolone regime combined with intense training yields an significant increase in cycling endurance of about 80%.

A NADO hearing date has yet to be set for Sbrana to present information in his defense.

PHOTOS: Mekophar Chemical

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