Astana rider Andrey Grivko has received a suspension from the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) following an incident in February at the Dubai Tour where he punched Marcel Kittel (Quick Step Floors) during the third stage.
Grivko will begin a 45-day suspension on 1st May which will finish on 14th June.
Kittel later explained what had happened: “When we passed a construction site, the sand began blowing and as soon as we went into the crosswinds we were fighting for position, which is always stressful, and Andriy Grivko punched me. I really can’t understand how he can do something like that. I get that riding in the crosswinds is always tense, but it gives him no right to act like that. He could have hurt my eye. It’s a real shame what happened. In the finale, my mind wasn’t 100% on the sprint, but I am happy I have no big injuries and I kept the lead.”
Grivko was later disqualified from the race for what the commissaires described as “acts of violence among riders” and also received a fine of 200 Swiss Francs. That blow left Kittel with a deep cut and blood streaming down his face.
The Astana team offered an apology to Kittel after the stage as they tweeted: “Astana Proteam apologizes to @marcelkittel and @quickstepteam for improper behavior of its rider @andrei_007 during stage 3 of @dubaitour”
However, Kittel tweeted afterwards: “I won’t accept an apology for this. That has nothing to do with cycling. What Grivko did is a shame for our beautiful sport.”
In the statement from the UCI, they stated “that its Disciplinary Commission has decided to suspend Mr Andrey Grivko for a period of 45 days from 1st May to 14th June 2017, following an incident which occurred at the Dubai Tour on 2nd February 2017.”
“The decision is based on article 12.1.005 of the UCI Regulations. The UCI will not make any further comment on the case.”