Danilo Di Luca gets two-year doping ban, and 280,000 euro fine
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Monday, February 01, 2010

Di Luca gets two-year ban along with a large fine

by VeloNation Press at 10:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Italian Danilo Di Luca was handed a two-year doping ban by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on Monday, along with a large fine.

Di Luca, who won the 2007 Giro di'Italia, came in a close second to Russian Denis Menchov (Rabobank) in last year's edition, which ended in a hair raising finish on cobbled streets near the Coliseum in Rome.

Soon after the race had completed, it was announced that Di Luca had twice tested positive for CERA, a third generation of the blood-boosting drug EPO (erythropoietin), during the race. The Italian had been targeted by the International Cycling Union (UCI) based on anomalies found in blood parameters of his biological passport. The cyclist was immediately handed a provisional suspension by the UCI.

Last December CONI's anti-doping chief Ettore Torri requested the rider be sanctioned with a three-year ban, citing the additional year being added for "aggravating circumstances". Di Luca had previously served a three-month suspension for the 'Oil for Drugs' affair in 2007.

"This is not over. I can still to fight this and I'm going to. We will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)," Di Luca told ANSA news agency.

"For the moment all we have is this decision, no explanations. All I can do is reaffirm that I have never taken banned substances and that I was not expecting this suspension.

"I'm optimistic of and confident that CAS will return a decision [in my favor].

"Even is CAS confirms the suspension, I will not hang up my bike. But I'm sure I will be back before two years."

While Torri did not succeed in getting an additional year added to his sanction, he was able to impose a sizable 280,000 euro fine on the cyclist.  His suspension was put into effect from July 22, 2009, the date his last positive control was announced.

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