Italian media reports that Santambrogio’s B sample is negative for EPO
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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Italian media reports that Santambrogio’s B sample is negative for EPO

by Shane Stokes at 5:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Climber could escape sanction if news is confirmed; Di Luca before CONI today

Mauro SantambrogioIf a report by La Gazzetta dello Sport proves to be correct, the Italian Mauro Santambrogio may end up escaping sanction despite his positive test for EPO.

The newspaper reports that the B sample analysis has shown only small traces of EPO, less than is needed to conclusively prove doping.

In anti-doping analysis, the A and B samples almost always match. It is not clear why the B sample would be different, although there is speculation that this could be down to micro-dosing of EPO and, presumably, a slight degradation of the sample.

On June 3rd it was announced by the UCI that the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider had returned an “adverse analytical finding” of EPO in a sample taken during the Giro d’Italia.

The sample was taken on May 4th in what was a random control after stage one; due to the delay in processing the sample, Santambrogio was able to finish out the race. He won the fourteenth stage and finished ninth overall.

Eyebrows were raised this season when Santambrogio showed a sharp increase in form and performance results.

He won the GP Industria & Artigianato Larciano and placed second overall in the Giro del Trentino. He was also third in the Trofeo Laigueglia, fifth in the Gran Premio Città di Camaoire, sixth in the Tour de San Luis and seventh in Tirreno Adriatico.

His non-negative A sample was the second of the spring for the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team. Veteran Danilo Di Luca also failed a test for EPO, with that sample being taken as a surprise control on the day it was announced that he would ride the Giro d’Italia one more time.

Di Luca is due in front of the anti doping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee today, and was yesterday urged by Valentino Sciotti, the patron of the Farenese group, to speak honestly and to provide the full truth.

“I ask you to be turning point between cycling of doubts and shadows and cycling of transparency,” said Sciotti in an open letter. “Everyone must be able to applaud the show they see, in the certainty that the future can not deny the confidence and enthusiasm that high-performance sports inspire.”

It remains to be seen if Di Luca will indeed provide significant information. He previously had a reduction in his prior doping suspension for CERA due to apparent cooperation, but then returned to doping after his return.

As for Santambrogio, today’s news – if verified – would mean that he might sidestep punishment.

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