Danilo Di Luca provisionally suspended after positive EPO test

2007 Giro winner out of this year's race after positive result for A sample

by Dave Atkinson   May 24, 2013  

Danilo Di Luca (© RCS Sport)

2007 Giro winner Danilo Di Luca is provisionally suspended, and out of this year's race, after the WADA-accredited lab in Cologne returned a positive result for EPO from a sample collected in an out-of-competition test on 29 April 2013.

Di Luca isn't a stranger to doping controversy; He twice tested positive for CERA during the 2009 Giro, and as a result was suspended for two years, returning to competition in October 2010 after the ban was reduced to nine months. His Giro win in 2007 was also controversial after he gave an irregular sample after stage 17 to Monte Zoncolan which suggested an illegal blood transfusion, although he was later cleared due to insufficient evidence.

Vini Fantini have been quick to distance themselves from Di Luca. The team has ended his contract with immediate effect, and told the rider to make his own way home. "Danilo Di Luca was part of the team mainly due to his friendship with (team sponsor) Valentino Sciotti", said team manager Angelo Citracca. "He has repaid the trust of a friend with yet another mistake. The consequences will affect the whole of a team which has been working for years to discover and train young riders."

Here's the UCI release in full:

This morning the UCI advised Italian rider Danilo Di Luca that he is provisionally suspended. The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Köln indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from him in an out of competition test on 29 April 2013.

The provisional suspension of Mr. Danilo Di Luca remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Italian Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules. Mr. Danilo Di Luca has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.

Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time.

37 user comments

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how the mighty fall, what a shame, what an idiot!

posted by Karbon Kev [677 posts]
24th May 2013 - 12:48

3 Likes

You all saw Ricardo Ricco's tweet on Wednesday afternoon right?

Drink it in, drink it right in:

https://twitter.com/riccardo_ricco/status/337183620211023874

posted by farrell [1483 posts]
24th May 2013 - 13:17

3 Likes

Utter nob. That is all. Angry

Strax

jdstrachan@yahoo.co.uk's picture

posted by jdstrachan@yaho... [53 posts]
24th May 2013 - 13:36

3 Likes

He wasn't the only one riding out of his skin, another ex (?) drug user has won two stages.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [957 posts]
24th May 2013 - 13:49

4 Likes

Im glad this scum has been caught,i was suspicious about his agressive stupid riding throughout this tour,the gesticulations and attention grabbing antics

good riddance to the scum

posted by Lane71 (not verified) [123 posts]
24th May 2013 - 13:57

3 Likes

I think they may have caught the wrong Italian. He's not leading the race is he. You would think doping would help you do that.....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1154 posts]
24th May 2013 - 14:17

3 Likes

Oh look, another cheating little wretch. Pathetic.

Can I just check - I do get to keep the fantasy Giro points that he's won for me, don't I?

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [871 posts]
24th May 2013 - 14:25

1 Like

One more slab of madness from Twitter, I do love the internet:

https://twitter.com/lancearmstrong/status/337925588394328065

posted by farrell [1483 posts]
24th May 2013 - 14:40

2 Likes

Looks like I'll have to use a transfer Devil

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [198 posts]
24th May 2013 - 14:49

0 Likes

I found that tweet from LA very funny. Genuine LOL moment.

As for Di Luca - he's basically been doping his entire career hasn't he.

posted by crazy-legs [523 posts]
24th May 2013 - 15:09

2 Likes

Regarding the LA tweet (I've embedded below), I couldn't help laughing. He's right on both counts, to be fair:

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3239 posts]
24th May 2013 - 15:50

2 Likes

C**t

Comes to something when even Lance takes the piss out of you Devil

posted by SideBurn [815 posts]
24th May 2013 - 16:26

3 Likes

While the son of a peasant farmer can buy his dad a Ferarri by just riding his bike, you'll always have this problem. There's too much money in the game now...

posted by Gossa [26 posts]
24th May 2013 - 16:49

4 Likes

The person I feel sorry for is the rider who missed out on a place on Vini Fantini's Giro squad because the sponsor insisted that Di Luca should be on the team.

posted by NeilG83 [251 posts]
24th May 2013 - 17:05

2 Likes

Gossa wrote:
While the son of a peasant farmer can buy his dad a Ferarri by just riding his bike, you'll always have this problem. There's too much money in the game now...

Still nothing to how much you get for kicking a ball around a field; I suspect if they were paid more they would be even better at evading the testers.

More to the point what is Nibalis' relationship with the needle? Watching a rider thrash the field by a minute in 20k had me thinking, "Here we go again...."

posted by SideBurn [815 posts]
24th May 2013 - 17:05

3 Likes

Cock..... get out of the sport I love, this is why I am in favour of a lifetime bad, certainly on drugs such as EPO

posted by mikeprytherch [219 posts]
24th May 2013 - 17:53

3 Likes

mikeprytherch wrote:
Cock..... get out of the sport I love, this is why I am in favour of a lifetime bad, certainly on drugs such as EPO

In this case, absolutely. He's been caught and banned before, he's clearly not learned anything from it.

One positive test and coming back a reformed characted (a la David Millar) is fair enough; this guy has now tested positive twice with various other suspect tests or results.
He needs to be thrown out of the sport for good.

Still laughing at LA's tweet. To be fair to poor old Lance, that takes some courage to tweet that. Still unsure if he's calling Di Luca stupid for taking EPO or for getting caught... Wink

posted by crazy-legs [523 posts]
24th May 2013 - 18:38

5 Likes

I wouldn't be surprised if he felt he had to keep taking the risk of the being caught in order to even be able to keep up with younger fitter cleaner riders. His choices were retire, loose form and be dropped or keep going as long as possible waiting to get caught. Not an enviable choice.

More hubris from Lance who had the money to walk away several times over.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1314 posts]
24th May 2013 - 19:27

4 Likes

I read on the BBC Sport news page that he has been sacked from the Vini Fantini-Selle team and the Vini Fantini team director Luca Scinto said "Di Luca is an idiot. I never wanted him. He is sick and needs help. Ouch, that's probably your career down the toilet then.

posted by Grandi [4 posts]
24th May 2013 - 19:31

5 Likes

So glad I didn't buy one of his Kyklos bikes when they came out, just as well the company went bust. I would have been too embarrassed to ride it in day light. He's just a knob.

Rupert

posted by Rupert49 [38 posts]
24th May 2013 - 19:48

2 Likes

Three dopers out the sport this week (Levi Jeans, a Russian bloke) and now Di Luca. I wonder who next before the TDF?

posted by Roberj4 [195 posts]
24th May 2013 - 22:12

3 Likes

why is Nibali being dragged into this? I know of a few very highly regarded riders in the UK who have won TTs by a fair margin, and I for one have never wondered about foul play.

Let's not get cynical, otherwise there's little point in reading these pages. If you can no longer believe in human endeavour and achievement, no point in following this or any other sport imo. Nibali has worked incredibly hard at his TT ability, Specialized have invested time and money to make it happen, and the results have followed. Chapeau and wish him the Giro win he deserves for his efforts.

posted by Metjas [288 posts]
24th May 2013 - 22:16

3 Likes

White jazz wrote:
If the test was on April 29, why has it taken 3 weeks to come to light?

Think you're confusing real life and CSI-style TV shows. Despite what the TV might show, these tests take time, and following proper procedures is not something you can do in 5 minutes...

posted by mogrim [38 posts]
24th May 2013 - 22:45

0 Likes

Metjas wrote:
why is Nibali being dragged into this? I know of a few very highly regarded riders in the UK who have won TTs by a fair margin, and I for one have never wondered about foul play.

Nibali has worked incredibly hard at his TT ability, Specialized have invested time and money to make it happen, .

Well let's see, he is leading the race in what appears to be a very dirty sport. People don't cheat so they can place well, they cheat to win. Ergo the leader of the race is most likely the biggest cheat.....oh, and guess what happened with Lance.

I would also look at his team, which has a record of doping cheats, Vinokourov and Contador (oh yes, and that man Lance again) to name the main ones.

If you also think that a full minute on a 20k time trial is down to Specialized giving him a better bike I would say you've been digging too deep with the cotton buds. I know Thursday's TT was uphill, but his performance in the first ITT was too good to be true, let alone his second.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1154 posts]
25th May 2013 - 1:35

3 Likes

.....I might also add lets not be completely naive about the sport of cycling.....

Even though I suspect that they are all doping doesn't mean I can't enjoy the race. I just find it less enjoyable if some nutmucker juices himself so much that it stifles the competition. It's like playing a computer game with all the cheat modes on. You may get to see a finale, but the satisfaction from accomplishment is absent.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1154 posts]
25th May 2013 - 1:43

1 Like

Robert Millar wrote a piece over at Cycling news about Di Luca missing the evolution, being a Dodo.

I do not agree with it completely, while there is a technical evolution on the drugs side, society has not changed much, basically doping is like a risk assesment, what can I gain, what do I have to lose? Thinking

I did rather decide not to write a new piece for my blog, as I think I've said it all before: At Wits End

http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2012/10/bad-boys-special-substances...

The relationship society - individual - drugs can be found about 1/3 rd into the post.

Want a guess what comes next?

How about denial? Yes, denial has a name, which can be found here:

http://innercitymobility.blogspot.de/2013/01/sundays-editorial-armstrong...

Writing a cycling blog these days has become so much easier, re-place the name and re-post! Sad

posted by Dr. Ko [109 posts]
25th May 2013 - 7:55

2 Likes

Metjas wrote:
why is Nibali being dragged into this? I know of a few very highly regarded riders in the UK who have won TTs by a fair margin, and I for one have never wondered about foul play.

Let's not get cynical, otherwise there's little point in reading these pages. If you can no longer believe in human endeavour and achievement, no point in following this or any other sport imo. Nibali has worked incredibly hard at his TT ability, Specialized have invested time and money to make it happen, and the results have followed. Chapeau and wish him the Giro win he deserves for his efforts.

I sincerely hope you are right and I am just a cynical old c**t.

posted by SideBurn [815 posts]
25th May 2013 - 8:58

5 Likes

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1154 posts]
25th May 2013 - 14:31

3 Likes

Positively a typo in the headline #pedant

posted by Tom Amos [244 posts]
25th May 2013 - 16:21

4 Likes

Di Luca's mistake was not buying a bloodtesting machine for UCI.

But what about the rest of them. Nibali from the Ferarri stable, Evans, Scarponi, Santambrogio, to name a few we know have dodgy pasts and present.

posted by Decster [246 posts]
25th May 2013 - 18:02

3 Likes