Mauro Santambrogio has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for EPO during the Giro d'Italia. The Vini Fantini - Selle Italia rider is the second rider from the squad to test positive in recent weeks; Danilo Di Luca was thrown off the tour – and off the team – after an out-of-competition test from before the Giro came back positive when the race was in full swing.
Santambrogio rode consistently well throughout the Giro, winning stage 14 to Bardonecchia; eventual overall winner Vincenzo Nibali came home in second place that day and should Santambrogio's suspension move from being merely provisional the Scicilian will have another Giro stage win to add to his palmares. Santambrogio finished 9th overall. His positive test was from a urine sample taken on 4 May, the first day of the race. The full UCI press release is below.
Whereas the team were quick to distance themselves from the Di Luca result, calling him an 'idiot' and suggesting that his place on the team was secured mainly due to his friendship with the sponsor, the positive from Santambrogio will be much harder to spin. "The peloton knew Vini Fantini weren't trustworthy", David Millar has said of the test on twitter. "[it] was the talking point for the first week of the Giro (until misery & survival took over)". Team director Luca Scinto hasn't held back on twitter either. "You're right. Rip me to shreds. I trusted them. They are crazy and I'm a moron to believe them. They're sick", he said of the news.
Mauro Santambrogio provisionally suspended
The UCI advised Italian rider Mauro Santambrogio 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 Rome indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in his urine sample collected at the Giro d’ Italia on 4 May 2013.
The provisional suspension of Mr. Santambrogio 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. Santambrogio 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.
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