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Two Italian riders nabbed for doping on eve of Giro d’Italia

2014 Giro d'Italia - Stage Seventeen

VITTORIO VENETO, ITALY - MAY 28: Stefano Pirazzi of Italy and team Bardiani CSF celebrates crossing the line to win the seventeenth stage of the 2014 Giro d’Italia, a 208km stage between Sarnonico and Vittorio Veneto on May 28, 2014 in Vittorio Veneto, Italy. (Photo by Harry Engels - Velo/Getty Images)

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ALGHERO, Italy -- Two riders from the Italian team Bardiani CSF have been kicked out of the Giro d’Italia on the eve of their nation’s biggest race after testing positive in an out-of-competition doping test.

The UCI, the sport’s governing body, said Thursday that Nicola Ruffoni and Stefano Pirazzi returned positive tests for growth hormone-releasing peptides in samples collected last week.

The riders have the right to have their B samples tested but have been provisionally suspended from competition. That means neither will be at the Giro’s start line Friday on the island of Sardinia.

Bardiani CSF also faces a suspension because both riders are from the pro continental team.