Marco Provera was having a great season, finishing on the podium at premier Italian gran fondos including Granfondo Sestriere (3rd), Mont Blanc Gran Fondo (5th), Gran Fondo Valtidone (3rd), Laigueglia-Lapierre International Gran Fondo (3rd) and the prestigious Gran Fondo Fausto Coppi (5th), which is where Provera’s luck ran out when he tested positive for anabolic steroids.

Following a random in competition drug test at Gran Fondo Fausto Coppi on 27 June in Cuneo by the Italian National Anti-Doping Organization, Provera was provisionally suspended after testing positive for the banned substance Clostebol .

Clostebol is an anabolic steroid that helps keep testosterone levels high, estrogen low and leaves little trace, making it popular with endurance athletes who want to add muscle mass without bulking up or experiencing other unwanted side effects. 

The drug is banned by the World Anti Doping Agency, but readily available in Italy where other amateur cyclists have been caught using it, including 2021 Gran Fondo Garda Bottecchia Champion Thomas Bergamini and 2019 Italian National Gran Fondo Champion Marco Larossa. 


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