Russian teenage rider Savelii Laptev has been barred from UCI competitions after activity on his social media account allegedly indicating support for the war in Ukraine ©Astana Qazaqstan DT

The father of Russian teenage rider Savelii Laptev has claimed that his son’s suspension from International Cycling Union (UCI) competition is a "misunderstanding", alleging that his social media account had been "hacked".

Laptev, who last December signed a contract with Kazakh racing team Astana Qazaqstan DT, has become the latest Russian cyclist to be blocked from participating in UCI events after failing to meet criteria, according to Russia’s official state news agency TASS.

Under the UCI eligibility rules, Russian and Belarusians riders will be allowed to return to competition as individual neutral athletes, as long as they have not shown support to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on social media or in interviews and are not affiliated with the military.

Grigory Laptev told TASS that his 18-year-old son was informed by the UCI on Friday (June 2) that he had "allegedly liked posts on social networks regarding the political situation".

"Savelii has already sent a letter to the international union, in which he explained that he had nothing to do with this," said Laptev.

"I don’t understand how this could happen, probably his account was hacked.

"As far as I understand, the trial is underway, but for Savelii and the whole team, the letter that came on Friday about the impossibility of confirming the neutral status caused great surprise.

"He has no starts planned for the next 10 days, so it's hard for me to say whether he can continue to continue to play for Astana.

"The team is also dealing with this issue, all the necessary explanations were provided by its representatives."

Savelii Laptev had recently signed a professional contract with Kazakh racing team Astana Qazaqstan DT ©Astana Qazaqstan DT
Savelii Laptev had recently signed a professional contract with Kazakh racing team Astana Qazaqstan DT ©Astana Qazaqstan DT

Laptev’s suspension comes less than a week after it emerged that Olympic medallists Anastasia Voynova and Maria Novolodskaya and Paralympic cyclist Alexey Obydennov had been blocked from competition by the UCI.

Fellow Russian riders Gleb Syritsa and Alexei Medvedev had been cleared to return, meaning they are in line to compete at the UCI Cycling World Championships - where all disciplines will be held together in the same place for the first time and due to be held in Glasgow in August.

The UCI has updated its stance after the International Olympic Committee ruled in March that athletes from Russia and Belarus should be allowed to compete under a neutral banner if they are not openly in support of the war in Ukraine and are not linked to the military.