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The anti-doping tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee has given Danilo Di Luca a lifetime ban for his positive test for EPO ahead of this year's Giro d'Italia

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DANILO DI LUCA

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05.12.2013 @ 18:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Danilo Di Luca has been handed a lifetime ban by the anti-doping tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee for his positive test for EPO ahead of this year's Giro d'Italia. Di Luca was also fined €35,000 and must pay €850 for the costs of the proceedings, as well as the costs of the lab analysis, which is 3,150 CHF.

 

The career of one of the most controversial figures in professional cycling is over. After failing to obey to the anti-doping rules for the third time in his career, Danilo Di Luca has been handed a lifetime ban by the anti-doping tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee.

 

Di Luca first served a three-month suspension in 2007 for his involvement in the Oil for Drugs doping investigation that was centred around doctor Carlo Santuccione. While he was mostly banned during the off-season, he missed a few races at the end of the season and the world championships and missed out on the overall win in the ProTour as a consequence.

 

In 2009 Di Luca was back at his best and rode a fabulous Giro d'Italia where he won two stages and the points jersey and finished 2nd overall. However, it was later revealed that his results had not been obtained in a legal manner as he had tested positive for EPO CERA and he served a 15-month ban that was reduced due to his cooperation with the authorities.

 

Di Luca returned for the 2011 season with the Katusha team but failed to reach any kind of form that was comparable to the one he had shown prior to his suspension. However, he found back to his best one year later in the Acqua e Sapone season and posted several good results in the biggest Italian races.

 

When his team folded, he was left without a contract and at one point it appeared as though his career had come to an end. However, he was thrown a lifeline by the Vini Fantini company who persuaded team manager Luca Scinto to sign him for the team that they sponsored.

 

Di Luca proved to be immediately competitive when he finished in the top 10 in both the GP Industria and the Giro della Toscana and earned a spot of the Giro d'Italia roster. He rode an aggressive race and came close to a stage win on stage 4 where he was caught inside the final kilometre of the stage.

 

With two stages left, it was, however, announced that he had tested positive for EPO in the days that led up to the Italian grand tour and he left the race in disgrace. He now pays the price for the offence as the lifetime ban means that we are unlikely to ever see the 37-year-old back in competition.

 

Di Luca was also fined €35,000 and must pay €850 for the costs of the proceedings, as well as the costs of the lab analysis, which is 3,150 CHF.

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