Luca Paolini banned for 18 months for positive cocaine test

Luca Paolini
In December, Paolini admitted to an addiction to sleeping medication, which led to him taking cocaine at a pre-Tour training camp

Italian Luca Paolini has been banned for 18 months after testing positive for cocaine at the 2015 Tour de France.

The UCI's anti-doping tribunal found the 39-year-old ex-Katusha rider guilty of the "non-intentional" consumption of benzoylecgonine, a cocaine metabolite.

Paolini tested positive after stage four of the Tour on 7 July, and was provisionally banned on 10 July.

If the ban is applied from the date of his positive test he will be eligible to return in January 2017.

Paolini can appeal against the decision.

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