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Monday 22, Apr 2013

  CONI Given Access To Mantua Files

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CONI Given Access To Mantua Files

Just a few days before the 2013 Giro d’Italia begins in Naples, the Italian national Olympic committee (CONI), is to be given access to evidence gathered by prosecutors as part of the Mantua investigation into doping in cycling. The doping scandal involves big names like Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego and the date for that hearing was fixed by preliminary hearing judge Gilberto Casari, who also permitted CONI to be joined to the case as a civil party.

The investigation is focused on a pharmacist based in Mariana Mantovana, Guido Nigrelli, and his relationship with the Lampre team, with a number of past and present riders and staff among those implicated. The judge’s authorization came after the session was suspended for 40 minutes while the judge considered lawyers’ requests. This incident is different from another probe that is being conducted from Padua and focuses on banned doctor Michele Ferrari and his alleged relationship with riders from a variety of teams.

Former world champion Ballan, who is currently recovering from a bad crash while training for the current season, and 2004 Giro d’Italia winner, Cunego, are among the 31 people said to be potentially facing charges as a result of the Mantua investigation. The list of suspects includes former Lampre team manager and Giro d’Italia and world championship winner Giuseppe Saronni, Danish ex-pro Michael Rasmussen who confessed to doping earlier this year, and current riders including Astana’s Simone Ponzi, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia’s Mauro Santambrogio, and Daniele Pietropolli, who is now in his fourth season with Lampre.

Alessandro Ballan, the Italian professional road bicycle racer for UCI World Tour team BMC Racing Team, is best known for winning the World Road Race Championships in 2008 and suffered a severe training crash during a descent as he was riding with his team in Spain. Ballan fractured his left femur, broke a rib and ruptured his spleen, which had to be removed and spent a little more than a week in intensive care. Damiano Cunego, the Italian professional road racing cyclist who rides for the Italian UCI ProTeam Lampre-Merida and his biggest wins are the 2004 Giro d’Italia, the 2008 Amstel Gold Race, and the Giro di Lombardia in 2004, 2007, 2008. Cunego finished second in the UCI Road World Championships in 2008 and in the 2008 UCI ProTour. He, in 2008, won the Klasika Primavera and the Amstel Gold Race, with two powerful sprints against Alejandro Valverde and Fränk Schleck, with victory in the latter propelling him to the top of the UCI Pro Tour rankings.

The preliminary hearing into the case will consider whether formal charges should be brought against those who have been implicated or not, as well as whether evidence obtained by phone-taps should be admissible. It is not the first time that the Italian Olympic Committee has been involved in the investigation. Its anti-doping prosecutor, Ettore Torri, summoned some of the riders implicated, including Ballan, for interviews at his offices in Rome two years ago although he decided to take no further action pending a criminal trial taking place.

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Wednesday 12, Sep 2012

  Tour Of Turkey Winner Suspended

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Tour of turkey winner suspended


Bulgarian rider Ivailo Gabrovski may get a possible lengthy ban besides losing his Tour of Turkey title after a urine sample given by him during the race tested positive for traces of Erythropoietin (EPO).

Probably the most prominent Bulgarian racing cyclist, Gabrovski holds the record for most Tour of Bulgaria wins, which he won 5 times. On July 18, 2012, it was announced that he had tested positive for EPO during the Presidential Tour of Turkey.

The 34-year-old Gabrovski was riding the Tour of Turkey for the local Turkish squad Konya Torku Seker Spor – Vivel and dominated the race and beat several WorldTour teams and riders in doing so. The Bulgarian rider finished well over a minute ahead of the next rider on the sole summit finish of Elmali race. He was then able to successfully fend off all attacks over the remaining five days. He was welcomed like a hero by the applause of race director Abdurrahman Açikalin and the crowd who were yelling “Turkiye! Turkiye!”

Gabrovski also won the Tour de l’Ain and stage 1 of the Tour de Poitou-Charentes (second overall) and racked up 49 international victories. He was, however, temporarily blocked from racing in 2003 and 2005 as a result of a too-high hematocrit at Driedaagse van West Vlaanderen, which was vehemently denied by the rider and he insisted that he was surely racing clean.

Gabrovski remarked that he has put a lot of hard work and been doing so for more than fifteen years as a professional rider. The 34-year-old remarked that cycling is his life and he doesn’t have life like others and said a lot of courage and luck are required to win the race. However, his statements did not have much of an influence on the UCI, governing body of cycling, who provisionally suspended him. The governing body said the decision to provisionally suspend Ivailo Gabrovski was taken in a response to a report from a WADA accredited laboratory in Athens that indicated an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from him in a test during the Tour of Turkey on 24th April 2012. The UCI added that the cyclist would remain on suspension until the Bulgarian Cycling Federation determined if he had committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules. It was remarked by the UCI that Gabrovski can request and attend the analysis of his B sample.

In the Tour of Turkey, Gabrovski beat Alexandr Dyachenko of Astana by 1 minute 33 seconds and the third place was bagged by Danail Andonov Petrov of Caja Rural who was further five seconds back. Dyachenko and Petrov would bag the first and second places, respectively, if Gabrovski is ultimately proven guilty of EPO use.

Meanwhile, Lituanian rider Rasa Leleivyte also tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control on 12 June 2012. The 23-year-old was 2008 European espoir champion and a multiple national champion. Rasa was racing with the Vaiano Tepso team this year and bagged sixteenth overall position in the Giro del Trentino plus thirteenth overall in the Giro Donne.

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