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Thursday 20, Feb 2014

  Cycling Community Rallies Against Luca’s Drug Claims

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Cycling community rallies against luca’s drug claims

Danilo Di Luca’s comment that doping remains rife in Giro d’Italia, one of cycling’s most famous races, has provoked furious attacks from members of cycling communities.

Chiara Passerini, the wife of Australia’s Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, termed Luca a clown. Andrew Talansky, the American pro and top-10 finisher in 2013 Tour de France, said he feel genuine hatred towards Danilo Di Luca and added Luca is a worthless lying scumbag making false statements that hurt the sport he loves.

Danilo Di Luca, a former Italian professional road racing cyclist who rode for Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo recently, had claimed that 90 percent of the 200 riders competing in the Giro d’Italia dope. He further claimed that the remaining 10 percent don’t care about the race and they are preparing for other races. Luca also remarked it is impossible to finish in the top 10 in the Giro d’Italia and not dope. Luca said the best thing would be to legalize drugs so the entire peloton is on a level playing field. The cyclist added he first learned about doping as an amateur.

Meanwhile, Italian anti-doping authorities are questioning Di Luca in the wake of his sweeping claims.

The Italian cyclist was given a life ban by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) after he delivered a positive test for the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) in an out of competition test on 29th April 2013, which forced him to quit the Giro d’Italia. Luca was fined 35,000 euros, banned for life, and his results since mid-April 2013 were erased from the record books. A CONI statement had revealed that the national anti-doping tribunal has imposed a lifetime ban on Danilo Di Luca for his violation of Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency code. It added that this ban takes effect from May 24, 2013, and annuls any competitive results that Luca achieved after taking a biological test on April 29.

The 37-year-old cyclist won the Giro d’Italia in 2007 and finished second overall in 2009. Luca received a suspension in 2007 for his involvement with the Italian doping doctor Carlo Santuccione and tested positive in 2009 for using the blood-booster CERA during that year’s Giro. The rider delivered a positive urine sample during his 2007 Giro victory that reportedly recorded the hormone levels of a small child, a sign of using masking agents. Luca was however cleared for the offense after it was admitted by CONI anti-doping officials that there was not a sufficient degree of probability for a doping conviction.

Luca started his professional career in 1998 and demonstrated his talent to the world by conquering the under-23 version of the Giro D’Italia. In 2005, the cyclist switched to Liquigas-Bianchi to join the ranks of Dario Cioni, Mario Cipollini, Stefano Garzelli, and Magnus Bäckstedt. Luca won the Amstel Gold Race and La Flèche Wallonne and took the ProTour leader’s white jersey. Di Luca became 2005 UCI ProTour champion after his success in the 2005 Giro d’Italia where he won two stages and finished fourth. He finished fourth in the 2005 Züri-Metzgete and fifth in the Tour de Pologne.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Cycling Community Rallies Against Luca’s Drug Claims

Wednesday 12, Jun 2013

  Giro D’italia Cyclist Fails Test

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Giro D’italia Cyclist Fails Test

Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca is facing a lifetime ban from the sport after testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO), which improves endurance by increasing red blood cell production and oxygen transportation. The 37-year-old and the 2007 Giro d’Italia winner Di Luca, who was racing in this year’s Giro d’Italia, has been sacked by his Vini Fantini-Selle team after failing an out-of-competition test.

The failed test was announced by Giro race organizers on their official website saying it was carried out at Di Luca’s home on 29 April, five days before the start of this year’s race. Di Luca could face a lifetime ban as this is his third offence if the result is confirmed in a ‘B’ sample.

The cyclist has already served a ban for testing positive for the blood-boosting drug CERA at the Giro in 2009. At that time, the International Cycling Union remarked the decision to ban Di Luca was made in response to a report to blood samples collected during the Giro on 20 and 28 May 2009. The cyclist was on the verge of a two-year ban from CONI for having abnormal hormone levels during the 2007 Giro but was found not guilty after much legal wrangling because of insufficient evidence.

Reacting to his latest positive doping test, Vini Fantini team director Luca Scinto said Di Luca is an idiot and he never wanted him. Fantini said Luca is sick and needs help. Scinto, in a statement from the Vini Fantini team, said Danilo Di Luca was not part of our group, was not wanted by the team and was inserted into our set-up by our main sponsor Valentino Sciotti, who out of friendship and regional ties to the rider, insisted upon and created the conditions for his addition to the roster. He added that the team following the news, which was received with disappointment, fired the rider on the spot and told him to leave the race by his own means.

It was also revealed in the statement that Vini Fantini-Selle Italia at this point will also open civil proceedings to claim damages from the rider, in accordance with the internal rules that all members of the team signed up to. Scinto added he is knocked out and never wanted Di Luca in the team and didn’t hide it, despite being criticized for his opinion. He went on to add that we made a mistake by accepting the repeated request from our main sponsor to have faith in a rider they are close friends with and unfortunately this faith has been repaid with an incredible error.

Valentino Sciotti, Vini Fantini’s main sponsor, admitted that Di Luca’s place in the team was an error on his part. Sciotti declared he believed in the man and in the athlete and it is right that it should be me who takes the blame because he made a mistake and must ask forgiveness from the fans, the team, the other sponsors, my partners and all the other cyclists who are racing in the Giro d’ Italia fairly and honestly, and all those young athletes who will be shaken by this news.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Giro D’italia Cyclist Fails Test

Tuesday 11, Jun 2013

  Armstrong Calls Di Luca ‘Stupid’ For Positive Test

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Armstrong Calls Di Luca ‘Stupid’ For Positive Test

The first major race of cycling since the end of the Lance Armstrong case was rattled by another high-profile positive doping test with former Giro d’Italia winner Danilo Di Luca testing positive for EPO in a surprise check at his home before this year’s race.

Di Luca risks a lifetime ban since this is his third offence if the same is confirmed in a backup “B” sample. Di Luca said upon leaving his team’s hotel in northern Italy that he was not expecting the test and it was a surprise for him and he is disappointed. Luca added that he will be asking for the backup analysis. The test on Di Luca was carried out April 29, five days before the Giro started.

The positive test of Luca surprised Lance Armstrong who said on twitter, “really Di Luca? Are you that … stupid??”

This is the second doping case from this year’s Giro d’Italia after French rider Sylvain Georges tested positive for the banned stimulant Heptaminol in a urine sample after the seventh stage after which he was immediately withdrawn from the race.

Di Luca has been provisionally suspended by the UCI, the governing body of cycling, pending a hearing with the Italian cycling federation and the Vini Fantini-Selle Italia squad fired the 37-year-old Italian rider. Giro race director Mauro Vegni said Danilo has betrayed cycling once again and added that he is happy he was not a young rider. Vegni also remarked that Danilo belongs to a generation that has navigated through the doping system.

The test result of Di Luca drew a harsh rebuke from Vini Fantini team director Luca Scinto who said Di Luca is an idiot and he never wanted him and added that Di Luca is sick and he needs to be helped. Di Luca signed with Vini Fantini on April 26 after seemingly headed for retirement just a few months ago. Vini Fantini team director and others were against hiring him but sponsors eventually prevailed. Scinto added that the sponsors chose Luca and now they’ve got to take responsibility and the team is now considering the option of suing Di Luca for damaging its image.

This Giro d’Italia saw Di Luca departing in 26th place overall, 33 minutes, 33 seconds behind overall leader Vincenzo Nibali. After the test result was announced, Italian cycling federation president Renato Di Rocco called for the most severe punishment and we can put out there all the prevention instruments we want — both in terms of informing and testing — but we are weaponless when faced with stupidity and Di Luca has especially betrayed the new generation of cyclists that are restoring the credibility and image of Italian cycling.

The cyclist was given a ban of three months after winning the 2007 Giro and saw his name getting embroiled into controversy later in the year for frequent visits to Carlo Santuccione, a physician at the centre of a four-year doping investigation titled Oil for Drugs. Di Luca was stripped of his second-place finish and two stage wins in the 2009 Giro.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Armstrong Calls Di Luca ‘Stupid’ For Positive Test

Monday 11, Apr 2011

  Di Luca in fresh troubles

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Di Luca in fresh troublesAs per a recommendation of the Italian Olympic Committee‘s anti-doping office, a ban of three years will be imposed on Danilo Di Luca for two adverse test results during May’s Giro d’Italia.

The rider also faces a criminal investigation by the Italian authorities.

CONI, the Italian Olympic Committee, has also made a recommendation to annul results of the rider besides imposing a fine on him.

Friday 18, Mar 2011

  Di Luca to face three-year ban

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Danilo Di Luca will be serving a ban of three years for two adverse test results during May’s Giro d’Italia, according to a recommendation of the Italian Olympic Committee’s anti-doping office.

Luca also faces a criminal investigation by the Italian authorities.

The Italian Olympic Committee, CONI, has also recommended results of Di Luca to be annulled and the rider be fined.

Tuesday 15, Mar 2011

  Italian Olympic Committee bans Di Luca

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Italian Olympic Committee bans Di LucaThe Italian Olympic Committee, CONI, has handed over a ban of two years to Danilo Di Luca for a positive doping test.

The cyclist tested positive for CERA, an advanced version of the blood booster EPO, during Giro d’Italia.

The ban of Di Luca will expire on July 21, 2011.

Monday 01, Nov 2010

  Italian rider free to race after ban slashed

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Italian rider free to race after ban slashedItalian rider Danilo Di Luca is free to return to competition after a sports tribunal reduced his ban of two years for failing to clear a drug test by nine months and a week.

Di Luca denied reports he had implicated fellow riders while cooperating with prosecutors.

Luca also said that Italy’s anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri was wrong when he recently said that ‘everyone dopes’ in cycling.