The Italian National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) has provisionally suspended amateur cyclist Federico Rispoli after he tested positive for the banned substance GW1516, a research chemical not for human use.

Online results show the ASD Team Giannini leader is an active MTB gran fondo competitor and former UISP Italian XC Champion. Most recently Rispoli won four out of four races to claim the 2023 UISP Winter Mountain Bike Trophy.

GW1516 is known by many names, including cardarine and endurobol, as well as various combinations of the initials and numbers (e.g., GW501516). It modifies how the body metabolizes fat and was originally created to treat obesity, diabetes, and other disorders caused by metabolic problems.

Some endurance athletes believe GW1516 can have a marked effect on an athlete’s ability to build endurance and lose weight while utilizing body fat for energy. However, the drug was pulled from medical clinical trials and use research abandoned when it was found to cause cancer.

In addition to being prohibited at all times under the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List, GW1516 is not legally permitted for human consumption in any medications, supplements or foods according to the United States Government Food and Drug Administration.

Sold illegally online as a “research drug”, “not for human use” or “for laboratory use only,” GW1516 has been found in unregulated dietary supplements as a contaminating ingredient.

For athletes subject to drug testing, it’s important to recognize that any substances making their way into supplements, whether intentionally or by accident, are still governed by WADA’s Strict Liability – Ignorance Is No Excuse policy, which states: 1) An anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance is found in an athlete’s bodily specimen. 2) The violation occurs whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault.

Rispoli is the second rider from ASD Team Giannini to be accused of violating anti doping rules, following Beniamino Desiderio’s positive test for EPO last August. In addition, Risposi is not the first amateur to test positive for GW1516 recently. Road criterium specialist Marco Cecchinato tested positive in July 2022.

A NADO tribunal hearing has yet to be scheduled for Rispoli to present his case and receive a final disposition.

Photos: Maremma Oggi