Lifetime ban sought by CONI for multiple offender Danilo di Luca
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Lifetime ban sought by CONI for multiple offender Danilo di Luca

by Shane Stokes at 9:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
EPO positive latest in a number of offences by Italian rider

Danilo Di LucaIt's largely symbolic, given that he’s 37 years of age and any sort of lengthy ban would almost certainly spell the end of his career, but Italian Olympic Committee CONI is seeking a full lifetime suspension for Danilo Di Luca after he tested positive for EPO earlier this season.

CONI prosecutor Tammaro Maiello has called for the maximum punishment due to Di Luca’s numerous doping offences.

Di Luca is one of Italy’s most controversial riders, incurring a three month ban in 2007 due to the part he played in the ‘Oil for Drugs’ doping affair. He had won the Giro d’Italia earlier the same year and was said to have had the hormone levels of a small child, a test result which was believed to point to the likely use of masking agents.

In July of 2009 it was announced that he had tested positive for the EPO-like substance CERA twice during that year’s Giro d’Italia. As a result he was handed a two year ban, although this was later reduced to nine months and seven days due to reported cooperation with investigators.

His latest run-in with anti-doping authorities began when the Italian rider underwent an out of competition test on April 29th, three days after he signed for the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team, and on the same day that it was announced that he would ride the Giro d’Italia one final time.

He went on to start the Giro, while his sample was sent to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Köln (Cologne), Germany, which carries out more precise testing than many other labs.

The rider rode aggressively in the Giro, seeking to turn around a career that had lost momentum after his return. Although he was unable to win a stage, he was still one of the more prominent attackers.

He was third on the rainy day into Pescara on stage seven, and was sitting 26th overall in the general classification when the news emerged on May 24th that he had tested positive.

He was heard by CONI on September 4th and now that agency has laid out what it argues is a justifiable penalty. It also wants the disgraced rider to be stripped of his results this year.


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