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Andrea Piccolo's EF contract terminated, HGH/Sleeping pills

I'm wondering whether Andrea Piccolo's rollercoaster career has anything to do with clinic issues?
Dumped by Astana (of all team) because of physical issues. Not picked up by any team for months after Gazprom folded. Scores some good results with Savio (...) and Vaughters apparently is interested.

Opinions?

Yeah, the fact that we never heared anything about the nature of his health problems at Astana is strange.
Imo it's either clinic related or something really personal like an eating disorder.

Taken from 2022 state of the peloton; https://forum.cyclingnews.com/threads/state-of-the-peloton-2022.37641/page-23

Perhaps we have our answer;


Piccolo, who made an impression as a young time trialist, will have a new start with Gazprom-RusVelo. Piccolo’s agent Johnny Carera indicated a few months ago that the promising rider would return to Astana, that was the plan. From an earlier interview with Piccolo by Bicisport, however, it appeared that the Gazprom-RusVelo team was interested in the young Italian. Piccolo and Gazprom-RusVelo were introduced to each other through the new team manager of the Russian team, Dmitri Sedoun. Sedoun also worked at Astana in the past. “He also knows the internal problems within the Astana squad. He spoke to my lawyers and expressed his interest. In August it really became concrete and a program was presented to me. A picture was also painted of the changes within Gazprom-RusVelo,” Spaziociclismo quotes Piccolo.

“I thought it was an exciting prospect and decided to sign the contract. It is a very structured team. The equipment is on point and is of WorldTour level. We have already had quite a few conversations and we are currently on a training internship in Calpe. After a few weeks I can already say that I enjoy my profession more and feel less pressure,” said Piccolo, who said goodbye to Astana in a strange way. Due to ‘personal health reasons’, which came to light during the first training camp, Piccolo did not ride for Astana at all. “I can confirm that I had big problems, but I don’t feel ready to talk about it yet. The matter was serious and delicate, but for now it is enough to know that everything has been resolved for the better. I have to thank my family and my lawyers for protecting me and advising me in the best way,” Piccolo said at the end of September.

Piccolo does not want to say too much about his problems and what happened behind the scenes. The Italian did take a drastic decision in mid-2021: Piccolo took a step back to the amateur team Viris Vigevano. This has not done him any harm, as he again managed to take some nice victories at amateur level. He won three prestigious Italian U23 races in September.
 
He famously claimed he would quit the sport and leave the team if he ever had a rider test positive. He's still there despite Luís Villalobos, Tom Danielson, the whole debacle around signing Tom Zirbel and the other debacle about Trent Lowe.

I wonder what the excuse will be this time.
The excuse is already in the tweet: "he had already gone beyond internal polices... etc."

Piccolo was out of control, doing it all by himself, we tried to constrain him and warn him but we couldn't do anything about it. Maybe blame it on his Colombian girlfriend, say that he insisted on going somewhere their riders don't normally train and had little oversight of.
 
OK, the weirdest thing for me is actually the internal suspension for a legal sleep aid because it was not team approved. Really? That is interesting. You would suspend someone, even go so far as looking to release them, because they were taking a legal sleeping aid? And the send them the to the mothertrucking Giro? That is seriously dumb and/or seriously full of BS.
 
Well, the UCI got their normal pre-Tour bust, to say "Hey, we're tough with dopers!"
Nope, there's more to this story, like it sounds it was the police in Italy not the anti-doping guys. How did they know Piccolo had anything illegal on him and where did he get it from?
The whole "sleeping aid" story is full of holes and why send a guy to the Giro if you want to fire him.

Edit - an afterthought, what's the odds that EF themselves tipped off the police? If they wanted to fire him for a "legal sleeping aid" then what's there to stop an "anonymous tip" to the police? Better then trying to explain to the UCI how they know he's doping. Also, it all has happened very quickly as the EF post says Piccolo was stopped only yesterday? (21st June).
 
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Once again the big story here which no one really talks about is the total ineffectiveness of dope controls/biological passports & all that tralalala which makes the gullible plebs watching on tv think the sport is somehow clean.

If a rider on human growth hormones can get away with it, then what's the point? I mean the usual clichéd defense you'll always read whenever someone drops a watts nuke is "he's never tested positive!". This is said of every whacky impossible performance. But if Piccolo was riding around on HGH & didn't test positive, then the system is well & truly broken.

Aka stick a fork in it.
 
The excuse is already in the tweet: "he had already gone beyond internal polices... etc."

Piccolo was out of control, doing it all by himself, we tried to constrain him and warn him but we couldn't do anything about it. Maybe blame it on his Colombian girlfriend, say that he insisted on going somewhere their riders don't normally train and had little oversight of.
But he originally claimed that it was all going to be a tightly-run ship so that no riders could go off-brand, and that he would quit the sport if they did.

Yet he's still here.
 
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"On suspicion of transporting human growth hormone"

Well, did he carry them or nah? Because losing your job because someone suspects you of something is rather iffy and fishy
Apparently the found something when he came back to Italy from Colombia with his gf.
How stupid do you have to be to have this stuff with you on an international/intercontinental flight. Not to mention that when you're coming back from Colombia they might look a bit closer anyway because of other, recreational drugs...
 
Additionally to the whatever the contract says, "suspicion of X" just means the authorities found something but the rider is denying any knowledge of how X got into his luggage, for example. Especially since this just happened yesterday, it's not logically correct to conclude Piccolo or someone he knows was trying to bring HGH from Colombia -- even though we all know that is precisely what occurred -- hence the "suspicion".