• Luca Paolini is out of the Tour de France after a positive test (Getty Images)
Gent-Wevelgem champion Luca Paolini has been withdrawn from Katusha’s Tour de France line-up after testing positive to cocaine.
Cycling Central

11 Jul 2015 - 6:57 AM  UPDATED 11 Jul 2015 - 8:24 AM

The Italian was tested on 7 July after Stage 4 of the race and returned an “adverse analytical finding”. The team was notified of the result by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Friday evening.

Paolini, 38, has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect, and Katusha subsequently withdrew him from the Tour de France as per the terms of the its policy on positive tests.

"Katusha will wait until the analysis of the B sample has been conducted before taking any further action or making any further comment," a team statement read.

“Team Katusha is fully determined to collaborate with the anti-doping agencies in order to resolve the matter."

Cocaine is not on the list of out of competition banned substances, but the World Anti-Doping Agency does have it listed for tests taken in competition.

Katusha spokesman Philippe Maertens reportedly expressed surprise at the use of cocaine by Paolini, telling reporters “cocaine is not a substance that improves performance”.

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