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Di Luca suspended after positive doping test

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-22

Giro runner-up, Italian Danilo Di Luca has been provisionally suspended from professional cycling after testing positive for the banned blood booster (EPO) CERA, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said.

AFP - Italian rider Danilo Di Luca has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Wednesday after failing two drug tests for EPO CERA during the Tour of Italy.

The 33-year-old LPR team leader, who is not competing in the Tour de France, won two stages of the Giro and wore the leader's pink jersey for eight days. He finished second overall just 41 seconds behind Russian Denis Menchov.

The UCI said that Di Luca tested positive for the banned-blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) CERA on May 20 and May 28 following blood tests carried out by a French laboratory.

"These adverse findings were a direct result of a targeted test programme conducted on Mr Di Luca using information from his biological passport's blood profile, previous test results and his race schedule," the UCI said in a statement.

"The provisional suspension of Mr Di Luca remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Italian Cycling Federation determines whether he has indeed committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules."

Di Luca is the first team leader to be suspended owing to test results based on the recently introduced biological passport.

Di Luca was due to take part in the Brixia Tour in Italy on Thursday and had been targeting the world championships at the end of September in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
 

Date created : 2009-07-22