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Italy's Piepoli slapped with two-year doping ban

Italian rider Leonardo Piepoli has been suspended from competition for two years by his country's anti-doping authorities. Piepoli tested positive for a new generation of erythropoietin during last year's Tour de France.

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REUTERS - Italian rider Leonardo Piepoli has been banned for two years after testing positive for a new generation of erythropoietin (EPO) at last year's Tour de France, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Monday.

A CONI statement said a tribunal had upheld the anti-doping prosecutor's request that Piepolo, 37, should be suspended until Jan. 2011.

Piepoli spoke of his shame at doping earlier this month.

The French Anti-Doping Agency said in October that Piepoli had twice tested positive for the CERA version of EPO during July's Tour.

The rider was sacked by his Saunier Duval team after his compatriot and fellow squad member Riccardo Ricco first failed a test for CERA on the Tour.

Piepoli, who won a stage on the Tour, had not been found to have tested positive at that time but Saunier Duval said he had "violated the team's code of ethics" and quit the race.

Ricco has already been banned by CONI for two years and is appealing to the Court of Arbritration for Sport.
 

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