Italian minister for health warns of “alarming surge” in doping in amateur cycling
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Italian minister for health warns of “alarming surge” in doping in amateur cycling

by Ben Atkins at 11:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Raft of positives in first half of 2010

ferrucio fazioItalian amateur cycling is experiecing what Italian Minister of Health Ferruccio Fazio describes as an “alarming surge” in doping, according to “Of 500 controls in the first half of 2010, 15.9% of men were found to be positive,” said Fazio, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) ”Giro d’Onore 2010” at the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

At the ceremony the FCI awarded medals to those Italian cyclists who had taken major victories in all cycling disciplines.

“To combat the issue of doping,” Fazio explained, “in the coming days I’m authorising the creation of a new anti-doping commission, which will work very closely between CONI and the Secretary of State for Sport. It will continue training and information campaigns, but also work with other anti-doping institutions, like NAS [the Italian National Anti-doping Tribunal].”

Together with NAS, he added, “we have set up a special anti-doping study, focusing on the analysis of dietary supplements to see if they contain performance-enhancing drugs.”

In addition, there was to be created a special rule for amateur sport, “which would provide for the automatic suspension from competitive sports of any amateur athlete who provides a positive sample.”

Aside from doping Fazio spoke of the other big issue currently at the top of the agenda in Italian cycling: that of the road safety of those who ride bikes. The issue is particularly close to the surface right now after the incident on Sunday, when eight Italian amateurs were killed when an unlicensed driver who had been using marijuana drove straight into them.

“As government we have a commitment to amateur riders,” said Fazio, “such as increasing safety in light of what happened recently in Lamezia Terme.”


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