Di Luca hearing set for February 1
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Di Luca hearing set for February 1

by Ben Atkins at 2:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Doping
 

Danilo Di Luca, currently the second-placed finisher in May’s Giro d’Italia, has had the date of his hearing in front of an anti-doping tribunal from the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) set. The 33-year-old from Spoltore in the province of Abruzzo will have to answer for his two non-negative tests for CERA – the third-generation EPO – at the Giro, on February 1st, next year.

“The Killer”, as he is known, tested positive on May 20th and 28th after apparently being targeted by the International Cycling Union (UCI) using information on his biological passport. Di Luca has always denied using the banned substance as – unlike at the previous year’s Tour – he, and everyone else, was well aware that the test for CERA existed, and he would therefore have been stupid to have used it.

Di Luca was suspended for three months between 2007 and 2008 – while leading the UCI’s flagship ProTour competition – for his involvement in the long-running Oil for Drugs scandal. This time CONI is seeking a three-year sentence, which will effectively end the Italian’s career.

Di Luca has been provisionally suspended since July when his positive tests were first announced. He requested that the B-samples also be tested and they too came back positive. Since his suspension has not yet been confirmed, is Giro d’Italia results – including victories on stages 4 and 10 – still stand.

If his suspension is confirmed he will be stripped of these results. That would mean his second place would be handed to Franco Pelizotti of Liquigas, and his stage wins to Stefano Garzelli of Acqua e Sapone and Pelizotti, respectively.   2007 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre of the Cervélo TestTeam would step up onto the final podium spot.

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