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Vacansoleil rider Novikov suspended for steroid positive

PARIS (AFP) — Russian rider Nikita Novikov has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned steroid in an out-of-competition test, the UCI announced on Friday.

Novikov, a former Tour of Slovakia winner who has been with the Dutch team Vacansoleil-DCM since last year, tested positive on May 17.

The UCI confirmed that traces of the banned steroids Hydroxy-ostarine and O Dephenyl-ostarine were found in the 23-year-old’s urine sample.

“As a team you try to give your riders a safe environment with good coaching and staff and that makes it very disappointing when a rider does something wrong, like it appears is the case now,” Vacansoleil general manager Daan Luijkx was quoted as saying on Velonation.

“When I talked to the rider last night, after the UCI informed us, he said he had no idea how the substance got in his body.”