Italy's Olympic Committee, (CONI) the body which handles anti-doping cases in that country had a busy day today banning former Liquigas cyclist Giannia Da Ros for 20-years and hearing a plea of innocence from Gabriele Bosisio – the LPR rider who failed an out of competition drugs test in September. They also banned two further riders for eight and two years respectively.
23 year old Da Ros received his 20 year ban for trafficking in performance enhancing substances as the result of an Italian police operation earlier this year. He was arrested while training with the Italian national track team and charged with supplying two amateur cyclists with human growth hormone. Ten other people were also arrested in the same operation. Under UCI rules riders caught supplying others with drugs can expect lengthy bans and CONI takes an equally hard line.
CONI also dealt with two other riders involved in the alleged doping ring, Davide Lucato received an eight year ban for selling the HGH to Da Ros, and Albino Corazzin a former team mate of Da Ros got two years for buying HGH from him.
In another case LPR rider Gabriele Boisisio pleaded innocent to using EPO, the 29 year-old rider failed an out of competition test at the end of September but maintained that he has never knowlingly used doping products. Bosisio fell foul of the UCI Biological Passport programme under which blood and urine samples taken from riders throughout the season are compared with the values on their passport established through previous tests.
Boisisio's case may prove to be an interesting one, he is the second rider in the past few months to claim innocence when failing an out of competition test the Spanish Euskaltel rider Mikel Astarlozo who failed a test in June also maintains his innocence and has been backed by his team in doing so even though his B sample tested positive too. A final decision is pending on Boisisio's case. However, his plea is unlikely to be helped by the fact that another LPR rider, Danilo Di Luca fell spectacularly from grace earlier this summer when he was found to have doped at this year's Giro d'Italia and for which he was subsequently stripped of his second place.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.