24 May 2013

Di Luca tests positive for EPO

It is with regret that I have to report a second positive test on this year's Giro d'Italia. Sylvain Georges for AG2r-La Mondiale had early tested positive for Heptaminol claiming it was an accident of taking something to aid his recovery.

However, Danilo Di Luca who has featured prominently in attacks on a number of climbs in this year's race and is the 2007 winner has tested positive to EPO. That surely is not something that can be put down to a casual accident that is an injection.

Di Luca has a sorry history with the drug testers. After his win in 2007 he was banned for 3 months as part of the investigation Oil for Drugs and in July 2009 he was given a 2 year ban for use of EPO, his results of coming second in that year's Giro were scrubbed from the records. Only Denis Menchov of that year's podium was not subsequently disqualified as Fraco Pellizotti who was third was also banned.

Di Luca, Menchov and Pellizotti in Rome after the finish of 2009 Giro
He was a surprise sign up for Vini Fantini just ahead of this year's Giro, as many thought the 37 year old who was out of contract would be retiring. While he is provisionally suspended pending the analysis of his B sample, it looks like if that comes back positive he will be facing an enforced retirement under the three strike lifetime ban rule.

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