Pietro Caucchioli to appeal against suspension via Biological Passport
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pietro Caucchioli to appeal against suspension via Biological Passport

by Ben Atkins at 9:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Italian has taken case to CAS; will be inspired by Pellizotti case

pietro caucchioliPietro Caucchioli was suspended for two years by the Italian Olympic Committiee (CONI) in June of this year, based on abnormalities in his Biological Passport. The has taken his case to the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) though, according to Het Laatste Nieuws, and his verdict will be released on December 21st.

35-year-old Caucchioli, whose best career results include third in the 2002 Giro d’Italia and 11th in the 2004 Tour de France. Was immediately suspended, then later fired by his Lampre-Farnese Vini team. The Italian was one of the first ever riders to be sanctioned based on the International Cycling Union (UCI) tool; as the irregularities dated back to the summer of 2009 though, his ban is due to expire in June 2011.

The passport, and its credibility as an anti-doping tool has already taken a blow recently with the Italian Anti-doping Tribunal (TNA) deciding that there was insufficient evidence to sanction Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo). Tadej Valjevic (AG2R-La Mondiale) has also been acquitted by the Slovenian courts, despite UCI appeals to have the rider suspended.

Should CAS rule in Caucchioli’s favour it could sound the death knell for the UCI’s proudest anti-doping tool as an instrument of proving doping in itself. It would be unlikely to see an end to the collection and comparison of riders’ blood and hormone profiles though as it has been cited a number of times in the year as a useful indicator; where riders have exhibited suspicious values they have been target tested by the UCI.

Many riders have been caught and suspended for actual positive doping tests, where the Passport has been used to identify who to target. The biggest name to fall foul of this by far was Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes-Bossini Docce), who tested positive for CERA, the third generation EPO, after his passport profile gave cause for suspicion.

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