Tour of Flanders: Bernucci's home searched, heads home to Italy
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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tour of Flanders: Bernucci's home searched, heads home to Italy

by VeloNation Press at 8:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Tour of Flanders

Yesterday Lorenzo Bernucci's team, Lampre-Farnese Vini, said the rider would be a non-starter for today's Ronde Van Vlaanderen due to illness.  According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, there are more pressing matters that forced the Italian to head back to his home in Tuscany.  Apparently Bernucci's home was searched by the Italian police yesterday.

The Italian paper says his immediate trip home seems to indicate that something had been confiscated in the search that was carried out.  Not many details are available, including whether any illegal substance found could have belonged to Bernucci's wife, or if it could have been some form of prescription medication.

In 2007 Bernucci tested positive for an appetite suppressant and was fired from his then T-Mobile team. The Italian claimed that he had used the substance for years and didn't realize that it had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) list of banned substances.

Other than confirming that the situation was not good to Gazzetta dello Sport, he said he did not want to comment on the matter. His Lampre-Farnese Vini team is aware of the police search, but said they know nothing about the possible seizure of drugs.

UPDATE: Italian paper La Repubblica reports that some products found in his home fall under the list of those banned for doping, such as albumin, a substance used to dilute the blood and lower the hematocrit, sibutramine, a stimulant, and some vials of foreign origin whose content still needs to be analyzed.  The also report teammate Alessandro Petacchi's house as being searched.


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