Mauro Santambrogio, who insisted last month he had learned his lesson after being banned for 18 months due to a positive test for EPO in the 2013 Giro d’Italia, has failed another anti-doping control – this time for testosterone.
The Italian was cleared to race again last month after receiving a reduced ban due to his co-operation with the Cycling Independent Reform Commission, and was due to race next season for the Italian UCI Continental outfit, Amore & Vita.
Italian anti-doping prosecutors are seeking a life ban for Danilo di Luca, who tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test taken days before the start of this year’s Giro d’Italia. He also faces being stripped of his results in that race.
The former Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider was sacked by his team when news of the positive test was announced with two stages remaining of the race, during which he had regularly figured in attacks, securing several top-ten stage placings.
Italian cyclist Mauro Santambrogio has spoken of how the support he received from friends and strangers alike on Twitter on Thursday night helped pull him back from the brink of suicide.
The Vini Fantini rider, currently suspended after testing positive for EPO through a sample taken after he won Stage 14 of this year’s Giro d’Italia – official results of his B sample have not been revealed yet, but it is rumoured to be negative – had not used Twitter since news of that positive test was revealed in early June.
Late last night Vini Fantini rider Mauro Santambrogio, currently serving a provisional suspension after a non-negative A-sample test for EPO during the Giro, broke a months’ long Twitter silence to send a chilling two-word message: “Goodbye world”.
Minutes later he responded to Bicisport journalist Enzo Vicennati: “I can’t take it any more.”
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.
BMC Racing has announced that it has lifted the suspension it imposed four weeks ago on Italian riders Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio ahead of allegations being published in Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport that the pair were being investigated by Mantova-based prosecutors conducting an enquiry into doping.
BMC Racing’s plans for the Giro d’Italia have been thrown into turmoil after the US-based outfit confirmed that former world champion Alessandro Ballan, who had been due to lead it in the race, and fellow Italian Mauro Santambrogio, have both been stood down from the team as the Mantova-based investigation into doping within professional cycling continues.
French national road race champion Thomas Voeckler, who rode away to claim a hugely popular victory in Stage15 of the Tour de France in Bagnères de Luchon as the drama of Andy Schleck’s slipped chain unfolded behind him, has revealed that he almost came close to abandoning the race last week.