/ Cycling

UCI suspend Danilo Di Luca for positive EPO test

Updated: Friday, 24 May 2013 11:44 | Comments

Di Luca was previously handed a two-year ban during the 2009 edition of the Giro d'Italia
Di Luca was previously handed a two-year ban during the 2009 edition of the Giro d'Italia

Vini Fantini-Selle Italia rider Danilo Di Luca has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs for the second time in his career.

A surprise doping test carried out at the 37-year-old's home on 29 April revealed erythropoietin (EPO) in his system.

Di Luca was previously handed a two-year ban - later reduced to nine months - after testing positive for CERA during the 2009 edition of the Giro d'Italia.

A UCI statement read: "This morning the UCI advised Italian rider Danilo Di Luca that he is provisionally suspended."

"Di Luca is an idiot, I never wanted him" - Fantini-Selle sporting director

It continued: "The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Koln indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from him in an out of competition test on 29 April, 2013.

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

"Mr Danilo Di Luca has the right to request and attend the analysis of his 'B' sample.

"Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time."

Di Luca, who was 26th in the general classificiation at the weather-affected Giro before today's suspension, was also disqualified for three months after winning the 2007 Giro for his association with banned doctor Carlo Santuccione.

The decision to sign the rider to Fantini-Selle on 26 April reportedly sparked much debate in the Italian team and today sporting director Luca Scinto told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "Di Luca is an idiot, I never wanted him."

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