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Di Luca receives two-year ban for doping

2007 Giro winner says he will fight penalty imposed following failed drugs tests in last year's race...

Italy’s anti-doping authorities have hit Danilo di Luca with a two-year ban and fined the cyclist €280,000 as a result of his testing positive for CERA following two stages of last year’s Giro d’Italia.

Di Luca, who spent eight days last May in the race leader’s maglia rosa, which he had won in 2007, finished second in the race, 41 seconds behind Rabobank’s Denis Menchov, but details of his positive result were revealed in July, causing him to be provisionally suspended by the UCI.

The suspension could result in the final standings of the race being revised, which would see Liquigas rider Franco Pellizotti move up to second overall with Cervélo TestTeam’s Carlos Sastre moving up to third.

It’s not the first time that the rider, who last season raced for the LPR Brakes-Ballan team which has subsequently folded, has been suspended as a result of doping allegations.

In 2007, when he was riding for Liquigas-Bianchi, Di Luca was suspended for three months due to his links to Dr Carlos Santuccione, who that year received a lifetime ban from CONI for supplying performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. Santuccione was later named by Riccardo Riccò, who himself is due to return to the sport shortly following a 20-month ban for doping, as having supplied him with EPO.

During the same year, CONI, the Italian Olympic committee, questioned anomalies in his hormone levels at the time of his Giro d’Italia victory, suggesting that those could have been caused by the presence of masking agents, although that case was never proved.

Di Luca, who is also required to pay the costs associated with the testing of his samples, has announced that he intends to appeal his ban, which is due to continue to July 2011, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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James Warrener | 14 years ago

Brilliant news that a doper has been banned.

neilwheel | 14 years ago

Back in his early years as a pro, I was talking about Di Luca's big-time breakthrough with a friend who was on a rival team. The response was 'Di Luca? Dope scandal waiting to happen' That was 2001.

Had to slip up sometime...

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