Killer sentence for Di Luca, who receives lifetime ban from cycling
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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Killer sentence for Di Luca, who receives lifetime ban from cycling

by Shane Stokes at 11:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Third time unlucky for former Giro d’Italia winner; must also pay over €38,000 in fines and costs

Danilo Di LucaDanilo Di Luca has today joined Lance Armstrong in a very select – and dubious – group, being one of the few riders to be handed a lifetime ban from the sport.

The Italian rider was sentenced by the anti-doping court of the Italian Olympic Committee CONI today, receiving the maximum possible suspension for what was his third doping offence.

He was also fined €35,000 and must pay the costs of the doping analysis, set at 3,150 Swiss Francs plus costs of €850.

In October CONI prosecutor Tammaro Maiello had requested the lifetime sanction for the 37 year old rider, and the granting of that means that he will never again race competitively.

Di Luca is one of Italy’s most controversial competitors and a rider who has long been racing under a shadow.

He won the Giro d’Italia in 2007 but was handed a three month ban later that year due to the part he played in the ‘Oil for Drugs’ doping affair.

In July of 2009 he was in hot water again after it was confirmed that he had tested positive twice for the EPO-like substance CERA 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.

He threw away his chance to finish out his career with some dignity when he underwent an out of competition test on April 29th, three days after he signed for the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team.

That took place on the same day that it was announced that he would ride the Giro d’Italia one final time. He rode aggressively in the Giro, finishing third into Pescara on stage seven and trying repeatedly to clock up a stage win.

However he was forced out of the race on May 24th while sitting 26th overall. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Köln (Cologne), Germany, which carries out more precise testing than many other labs, had detected the presence of EPO.

He was heard by CONI on September 4th and now his career has run its course. The Pescaran rider, who is nicknamed the Killer, has earned himself that lifetime ban.

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