Bernucci handed five year ban, four family members also hit by sanctions
  July 03, 2020 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bernucci handed five year ban, four family members also hit by sanctions

by Shane Stokes at 12:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Serious bans handed down over Italian doping affair

Lorenzo BernucciItalian Lorenzo Bernucci and four members of his family have been handed lengthy bans from sport, with the rider incurring the highest suspension of five years.

In December it was announced that the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) was seeking a six year ban for the former Liquigas rider, who previously tested positive for the appetite suppressant sibutramine whilst being part of the T-Mobile team in 2007.

The Italian Tribunale Nazionale Antidoping (TNA) has applied a ban just one year off that 72 month request, although had his first sanction been for a more serious product, he would have been facing a lifetime suspension. Even so, being sidelined until February 6th 2016 means that the 31 year old’s career is almost certainly over.

Bernucci was linked to doping through an investigation by a prosecutor in Padua, and had his home raided in April of this year. Police reportedly seized the banned blood-booster perfluorocarbon (PFC), as well as human albumin. He was charged with breaking article 2.2 of the WADA code, namely the use or attempted use by an athlete of a prohibited substance or method, as well as article 2.6, the possession of prohibited substances. He was also charged with article 10.7.1, namely committing the second anti-doping rule violation of his career.

His father in law Fabrizio Borgioli was charged with article 2.8 of the WADA Code, ‘the administration or attempted administration to any athlete in competition of any prohibited method or prohibited substance.’ Under article 10.3.2, he was handed a ban of four years. He is blocked from sporting roles within the Olympic Committee and other organisations, as well as being blocked from attending sports facilities in Italy, particularly the spaces for athletes and personnel and from taking part in sporting events on national territory or organised by various sporting bodies mentioned in the ruling.

His wife Valentina Borgioli was charged under article 2.6, possession, article 2.7 (trafficking or attempted trafficking in banned substances and methods) and article 2.8. His mother Antonella Rossi was charged with breaking articles 2.7 and 2.8, while his brother Alessio Bernucci was charged under article 2.8.

The first two of those were also handed a four year ban, while his brother had his reduced to three years.

Bernucci’s wife was stopped last year just before flying out of Pisa airport. It is thought that she might have been intending to bring a banned product to her husband, who was racing the Belgian Classics.

Bernucchi’s former team-mate Alessandro Petacchi is also suspected of involvement, although no announcement has been made in relation to his status. It is believed that wiretaps involving the doctor Filippo Manelli of Gavardo in Brescia are an important part of the investigation, as well as raids on the doctor’s house.

La Repubblica journalist Eugene Capodacqua stated last August that sources close to the investigation had said that Bernucci had confessed. Capodacqua suggested that it could be part of a defence strategy where the smaller rider takes the blame.

Petacchi previously served a nine month sanction after excessive use of the asthma inhaler salbutamol during the 2007 Giro d’Italia. He is currently sidelined from racing due to health issues.


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC