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Italian cyclist Di Luca faces doping hearing

Italian cyclist Di Luca faces doping hearing

Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca denied he took a banned substance as he faced questions Wednesday from the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor.
The 33-year-old former Giro d'Italia champion arrived at the Stadio Olimpico flanked by two lawyers, who said after the one-hour session that there would be another hearing in a month to give the defense more time to prepare.
The hearings could lead prosecutor Ettore Torri to recommend that the committee's anti-doping tribunal ban the rider.
Di Luca, who won the 2007 Giro, tested positive for the blood-booster CERA in samples taken May 20 and May 28 during this year's race, where he won two stages and finished second overall.
Di Luca questioned the accuracy of the test, saying that four more tests were made during the Giro and they turned up negative.
"(CERA) is a product that we have known about for more than a year," Di Luca said after the hearing. "We know it remains in the kidneys for a month at least, so why would I have taken it in the month of the Giro d'Italia?"
The International Cycling Union has suspended Di Luca while the Italians conduct disciplinary proceedings against him.
After his 2007 Giro win, Di Luca served a three-month ban imposed by Italy's Olympic Committee for visiting a doctor suspected of supplying athletes with banned drugs. That means the positive test may be considered a second offense and could lead to a ban of up to four years. Di Luca's lawyers maintained that the case would be considered a first offense, which limits the ban to two years.


Updated : 2021-03-02 09:23 GMT+08:00