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Italian star failed tests for CERA on two Giro stages says UCI statement

Italian rider Danilo Di Luca, nicknamed The Killer, has been put under temporary suspension by the UCI for testing postive for CERA , a type of EPO, at this year's Giro d'Italia. Di Luca, known for his aggressive attacking style, finished second in the race. He has previously won the Giro but coming into this year's edition with a new team, LPR Brakes his form was largely indifferent.

According to the UCI statement (below) Di Luca tested positive on stages 11 and 18 of this year's race.

"These adverse findings were a direct result of a targeted test programme conducted on Mr Di Luca using information from his biological passport’s blood profile, previous test results and his race schedule," the UCI said in a statement released today.

Previously UCI President Pat McQuaid had denied reports in the Spanish newspaper La Marca that the UCI were investigating the rider. Di Luca's doping record was already tarnishedl, he served a three month ban after being found guilty in the so-called 'Oil for drugs' investigation the year after he won the Giro.

UCI statement on Danilo Di Luca

Earlier today, the UCI advised Italian rider Danilo Di Luca that he is provisionally suspended. The decision to provisionally suspend Mr Di Luca was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Paris indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of Recombinant EPO (CERA) in blood samples collected from him at the Giro d’Italia on 20 May and 28 May 2009.

These adverse findings were a direct result of a targeted test programme conducted on Mr Di Luca using information from his biological passport’s blood profile, previous test results and his race schedule.

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

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

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.