'No needles' policy to be introduced
Cyclists will no longer be allowed to use needles, the International Cycling Union announced in its latest attempt to crack down on doping.
Exceptions will only be made for clear medical reasons, the cycling body continued.
Despite the doping scourge badly damaging the sport, needles were permitted to inject substances such as vitamins and sugar to aid recovery but now all non-medical injections have been outlawed by the UCI Management Committee.
"This measure is above all designed to protect the riders' health and contribute to eradicating doping by restricting a practice that is all too often abused," a statement said.
"Breach of these new regulations will lead to sanctions for the rider, team doctor or team."
The move is also aimed at encouraging natural physical recovery by rejecting the automatic recourse to injections.
The UCI has sought to bring in the new rule before the Giro d'Italia, riddled by doping scandals in recent years, starts on Saturday.