Maximiliano Richeze of the CSF Group team will not start the Giro d?Italia after traces of stanazol were found in a urine sample taken after he won the last stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe in France on April 11.

As the teams got ready for Saturday?s opening team time trial around Palermo, Richeze?s team manager Bruno Reverberi came into the race headquarters and embarrassingly announced that his CSF Group team would start with just eight riders.

?I?ve been told by the UCI that traces of the same steroid Ben Johnson was caught for, I think it?s called stanazol, was found in a urine sample given by Max Richeze after he won the last stage of the Sarthe race,? Reverberi said.

?I?m really sorry that it has happened just before the start of the Giro d?Italia because we try and run a clean team.?

?Richeze has already been sent home and now its up to him to ask for the counter-analysis. Because it has happened so close to the start of the Giro d?Italia it means we will start the Giro with just eight riders.?

A total of 197 riders will now line-up for the team time trial.

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