In a surprise announcement today by Kiwi Pro George Bennetts Team LottoNL-Jumbo it was revealed that the talented climber will not be taking the start line in the Giro due to turning in a standard UCI blood test showing low cortisol levels. Low cortisol levels can be indicative of the use of cortisone or due to other health issues. Bennett recently completed a long training camp at altitude on Teide, returning to sea level after May 1. He raced for the Radioshack team until 2013, joining Cannondale for 2014 and LottoNL-Jumbo for 2015.
“The team made this decision since the rider from New Zealand appeared to have a low cortisol level in a regular pre-race UCI test, which could be an indication of sub optimal health conditions. Bennett cannot be replaced by another rider,” the message reads.
“Today (Friday) the team received an email from the UCI that low cortisol levels were measured in the regular UCI pre-race test last Thursday. According to the UCI Bennett is allowed to start in the Giro. Team LottoNL-Jumbo is a member of the MPCC (Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible) and the MPCC’s rules state that riders with cortisol levels that are too low, should not race for eight days until these levels are within normal range.”