Italian Luca Paolini kicked out of Tour de France after testing positive for cocaine
Italian Luca Paolini has tested positive for cocaine and has been provisionally suspended, ending his Tour de France, cycling's world governing body has announced.
The 38-year-old Katusha rider tested positive on Tuesday, when the riders took on the cobbled fourth stage from Seraing to Cambrai.
Paolini was 168th overall, but his expulsion takes the number of riders in the Tour to 185.
Paolini is a domestique, working in service of other riders, and distinguishable due to his beard.
He was taking part in his fifth Tour, primarily with a role supporting sprinter Alexander Kristoff.
The UCI said in a statement: "The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that it has notified Italian rider Luca Paolini of an adverse analytical finding of cocaine (benzoylecgonine metabolite) in a sample collected in the scope of an in-competition control on July 7, 2015 during the Tour de France.
"The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample.
"In accordance with UCI anti-doping rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.
"At this stage of the procedure, the UCI will not comment any further."
Katusha confirmed it had received notification and withdrawn Paolini from the Tour.
The Russian team said in a statement: "Team Katusha is fully determined to collaborate with the anti-doping agencies in order to resolve the matter."