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.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.