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Vlad Dascalu out of Olympics after anti-doping violation

Whereabouts failure costs Trek's Romain 17-month suspension

Photo by: Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

Vlad Dascalu will not race at the Paris Olympics after the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Anti-Doping Tribunal handed down a 17-month suspension for an anti-doping violation. Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli’s Romanian was found guilty of a whereabouts failures.

That means Dascalu will miss the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris this July, the rest of the 2024 season and all of the 2025 World Cup season.

Whereabouts failures is not, as it might sound, a particularly easy way to get an anti-doping violation. It requires a rider to miss an anti-doping test three times within a 12-month period. Athletes on the anti-doping list are required to keep anti-doping authorities up to date on their location in order to make important out-of-competition testing possible.

Dascalu now has one month to appeal the decision to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The 26-year-old Romanian has racked up an impressive list of results so far in his career. He was the 2023 European XCO champion, he finished fifth at world championships in Scotland that same year. The Red Bull-sponsored athlete also has multiple elite XCO World Cup podiums to his name, was well as Romanian national championships.

This season, Dascalu has already finished 10th and 9th at the first two World Cup’s of 2024 in Mairiporã and Araxa, Brazil.

If Dascalu’s anti-doping suspension stands, it will be the most high-profile anti-doping suspension since the brief suspension of Mathias Flueckiger in 2022. That decision by Swiss authorities was eventually overturned and Flueckiger was allowed to return to competition.

Full statement from the UCI:

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)advises that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has rendered a decision against Romanian rider Vlad Dascalu.

The Tribunal found Vlad Dascalu guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (whereabouts failures by a rider) due to him committing three whereabouts failures in a 12-month period. The Tribunal has imposed a 17-month period of suspension on the rider.

In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the period of suspension starts on the day of notification of the decision, in this case 21 May 2024, and will remain in force until 20 October 2025.

Furthermore, in line with the Procedural Rules of the Tribunal, the decision will be published on the UCI website. The decision may be appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) within one month.

The UCI will not comment further on the matter.