The peloton in action during the first stage of the Giro d'Italia. Photo: EPA/Dario Belingheri
TORTONA, Italy – Disgraced Italians Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni face the sack by their Bardiani team after confirmation of positive doping tests that saw the pair thrown out of the Giro d'Italia.

Second-division Bardiani, one of four "wildcard" invitations to the 100th edition, were stunned on the eve of the start in Sardinia earlier this month following news the riders had tested positive for growth hormones.

They were immediately thrown off the race and now face the sack after their "B" samples also tested positive for the performance enhancer.

"With regards to the official communication received from the UCI that confirms the positivity of the analysis of B samples belonging to Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni, Bardiani CSF Pro Cycling announces the start of proceedings to dismiss both athletes, in accordance with the team's ethics charter and the contract signed by all riders on the team," said a team statement on Friday.

"Bardiani reserves the right to proceed with legal action against Pirazzi and Ruffoni to protect the image of the team and its sponsor."

While they could face lengthy bans by the International Cycling Union (UCI), Bardiani face a team-wide suspension of 14-45 days under the governing body's anti-doping rules.