Riding is Life


Robert Stannard handed provisional doping suspension four years after the fact

The Australian has subsequently been removed from his nation's Glasgow World Championships squad.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 02.08.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
More from Jonny +

Australian rider Robert Stannard has been provisionally suspended for the ‘use of Prohibited Methods and/or Prohibited Substances’ over four years ago, but which has only now been made public.

The news comes to light after the rider’s name appeared on the list of provisionally suspended riders (PDF) on the UCI’s website and his current team Alpecin-Deceuninck released a statement on the matter. Stannard is one of six riders on the list, which lists no specifics for his case, including any sample date. According to Stannard and Alpecin, the violation dates back to 2018 and 2019.

Due to his provisional suspension, the 24-year-old will now miss the upcoming World Championships in Glasgow.

“I have been notified by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that it considers that I committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation more than four years ago,” Stannard said in a brief statement. “I have never intentionally or knowingly used a prohibited substance and will therefore ask for my case to be referred to the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal. I look forward to filing my defence and am confident of being exonerated and continuing my career. I will respect the confidentiality of the procedure and therefore will not be commenting further.”

Alpecin-Deceuninck, the team of Mathieu van der Poel, also released a statement, making clear the doping violation came before Stannard joined the squad.

“Alpecin-Deceuninck just took note of the fact that the Union Cycliste International (UCI) considers that Robert Stannard committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation, back in 2018 and 2019. Stannard joined the team on January 1st, 2022 on a two-year agreement that expires at the end of this year,” the team said.

“This specific case dates back to 2018 and 2019, more than four years ago and more than three years before the transfer of Stannard to our team.  We respect the decision of the UCI and will conform to this. In the meanwhile, we will further inform us with the rider, his management, and the UCI. Alpecin-Deceuninck will not be commenting further until we have full clarification from the three parties mentioned above.”

Escape Collective has contacted the UCI for comment on Stannard’s case, including the reason for a gap of four years between the suspected Anti-Doping Rule Violation and the provisional suspension.

What did you think of this story?