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.
The level of the sanction being sought by prosecutors from the anti-doping arm of the Italian national Olympic committee, CONI, reflects the fact that the 37-year-old, whose palmarès include victories in races such as the Giro di Lombardia and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, has twice served bans in the past for anti-doping violations.
In 2007 Di Luca, then the reigning Giro d’Italia champion, received a three-month ban for associating with the physician Carlo Santuccione, the man at the centre of the long-running Oil for Drugs investigation. The rider was allowed to keep his Giro title.
Two years later, after finishing second in the Giro, a sample taken from Di Luca tested positive for CERA. He was stripped of that podium place, two stage wins and his victory in the points competition, and banned for two years.
Subsequently, that was reduced to nine months due to the assistance he gave Italian anti-doping authorities and he returned to racing with Katusha, with whom he raced the 2011 Giro.
He raced in 2012 for Acqua & Sapone before joining Vini Fantini-Selle Italia for 2013. Days after news broke of Di Luca’s positive test, team mate Mauro Santambrogio, who had won Stage 14 of this year’s race, also tested positive for EPO.
Santambrogio is still awaiting results of his B sample, and hit the headlines last week when, after more than four months of silence on Twitter, posted a message suggesting that he was contemplating ending his life.
He attributes his decision not to follow through on that threat to the outpouring of sympathy and support he received from the online community.
That look-back at the mayhem he triggered, then down at his top-tube, is pure Bart Simpson.
The torque in reverse is amazing...
Deliberate traffic violation + professional driver = immediate driving ban.
Do the bike registration schemes have any effect? Do they make it harder to offload a stolen bike? ...
Go Pogi !
Nice for Nadeem. Bicycle theft is often associated with other criminality. Same as road violence and other lawlessness on the roads.
Yes. If we expect people to cycle to places they now mostly drive to then they have to have routes that go to those places which feel safe and are...
Pretty stunning disaster of a comment. Gratuitous bigotry, irrelevant to the point of the article, nothing of substance worth saying or replying to...
The driver of this Focus failed to stop for Police in Salford this evening. He ran off with the car keys and his drugs but fortunately for us, he...
Maybe even some squirrels