Martedì, 16 Ottobre 2018

Cycling: Di Luca fails drugs test, faces life ban


(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, May 24 - Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca will
not finish the Giro d'Italia and risks a life ban after it was
announced on Friday that he tested positive for blood-booster
EPO in a surprise test taken at his home before the race started
last month.
The 2007 Giro winner was banned for two years in 2009 after
testing positive for another drug, CERA, in the world's second
biggest stage race that year, when he came second before being
stripped of his place in the standings.
The 37-year-old was also banned for three months in 2007
for links to a doping-tainted doctor.
Di Luca was 26th in this year's Giro, over 33 minutes
behind leader Vincenzo Nibali, before Friday's 19th stage was
cancelled because of snow on the route.
Di Luca's Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team said the rider has
been sacked after international cycling's governing body UCI
announced the test result and suspended him from competition.
"It's over for me with Mr Danilo Di Luca," Vini
Fantini-Selle Italia's Director of Sport Luca Scinto told ANSA.
"What could I do? I fired him. According to me, people like
this are ill. They don't realise what world they are living in.
"I never wanted Di Luca in the team. The sponsor chose him
and now they can take responsibility for it".
Di Luca said Friday he was surprised and would ask for the
B samples from the test to be checked.
"I didn't expect it. It was a surprise for me. I'm
disappointed," said Di Luca.
"After the B tests we will talk about this affair again,"
he said.
Cycling in general, and Italian cycling in particular, has
been badly hit by a long string of doping scandals.
Vini Fantini-Selle Italia said that, in addition to
dismissing the 37-year-old, they will also seek damages from
The Italian Professional Cyclists' Association (ACCPI)
intends to do the same.
ACCPI said it would "take legal avenues for the very
serious damage this athlete has caused to the image of the whole
"Cycling is working with all its strength to regain
credibility and the affection of the public," the statement
"The group (of professional cyclists) does not accept the
mad behaviour of an individual who damages the image of the
whole movement".
Even one of sport's most infamous drugs cheats, Lance
Armstrong blasted Di Luca.
"Knowing I have 0 cred on the doping issue - I still can't
help but think, "really Di Luca? Are you that f**king
stupid??"," Armstrong, who was stripped of seven consecutive
Tour de France victories for doping, said via his Twitter
account, @lancearmstrong.

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