EF Education-EasyPost terminates Andrea Piccolo’s contract

EF Education-EasyPost has terminated Andrea Piccolo’s contract with immediate effect after the rider was stopped by Italian authorities on 21st June on suspicion of transporting Human Growth Hormone. The 23-year-old, who joined the team from Androni Giocattoli in 2022, had previously faced internal suspension in March for taking a sleeping aid that was legal but not approved by the team.

EF stated, “Piccolo was suspended internally without pay in March after taking a sleeping aid that was not approved by the team, though legal. The team reported the usage to the UCI immediately, but due to legal reasons surrounding the UCI standard rider contract, we were unable to terminate his contract at the time. After serving his suspension, he returned to competition at the Giro d’Italia.”

Piccolo has raced 34 days for EF this season, including appearances at the Tour Colombia and Paris-Nice. He also completed 18 stages of the Giro d’Italia and finished fourth on stage 6 before abandoning after a crash on stage 19.

Team statement. pic.twitter.com/MSMGxi4TIU

— EF Pro Cycling (@EFprocycling) June 21, 2024

According to his Instagram, Piccolo has recently been training around Lake Maggiore in Lombardy, near Italy’s northern border with Switzerland.

On the recent incident, EF stated, “Our organisation will cooperate fully with any investigation into the matter, and we encourage Andrea to be open and truthful with anti-doping authorities.”

Le Telegramme noted that under Article 2.7 of the WADA Code, ‘Trafficking or Attempted Trafficking in any Prohibited Substance or Prohibited Method by an Athlete or Other Person’ is considered an anti-doping rule violation. If found guilty, individuals face a WADA-mandated suspension ranging from a minimum of four years to a lifetime ban, depending on the severity of the violation.