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"However, I still have confidence in the system and I am sure that everything will be sorted out as soon as possible and will prove and I have not committed any anti-doping rule offences. In any case, a two-year penalty is completely o...




06.12.2013 @ 17:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday the Italian Olympic Committee CONI recommended a two-year ban for Androni-Venezuela rider Francesco Reda for his failure to provide a urine test in February. Today the Italian has published an open later where he claims his innocence and expresses confidence that he will be cleared for any wrongdoing.


The 2013 season could not have started better for Francesco Reda but it couldn't have had a more terrible end. After having been kept on inactive status for most of the season by his Androni-Venezuela team, the Italian learned yesterday that the Italian Olympic Committee CONI had recommended a two-year ban for his failure to provide an out-of-competition urine test in February.


After a fine 2012 season with the now defunct Acqua e Sapone, Reda came out with all guns blazing for his first season as an Androni rider. He was 3rd overall in the Tour Mediteranéen after finishing 2nd on two stages and went on to finish 2nd in the Trofeo Laigueglia, 7th in the GP Camaiore and 8th in the Strade Bianche.


Suddenly, Reda disappeared from the racing scene and nobody have any official explanation. It later emerged that he had been suspended by his team for anti-doping reasons but the Italian took the case to the UCI headquarters in Aigle.


The international federation ruled that Reda had the right to compete and so manager Gianni Savio reluctantly let him race in a number of one-day races towards the end of the season. Yesterday he learned that a case had now been opened against him.


Today Reda has responded to the news by publishing an open letter in which he claims his innocence.


"I have noticed that the CONI anti-doping prosecutors have referred me to the National Anti-Doping Tribunal with the request of a two-year ban for a missed control. I repeat what I have always said: that I have not tried to avoid any control.


"Instead, it was a failure to read my whereabouts correctly. The UCI controllers arrived for an out-of-competition test at the hotel where I stayed with my team prior to a race (the GP Camaiore, ed.). Unfortunately, I arrived just before they left. I still did a blood test but there was no time for a urine control. As they had other commitments, they didn't wait for the race to finish as I had asked them to do and they left.


"However, I still have confidence in the system and I am sure that everything will be sorted out as soon as possible and will prove and I have not committed any anti-doping rule offences. In any case, a two-year penalty is completely out of proportions."


Reda's contract with Androni wasn't renewed and with a potential ban hanging over his head, he is unlikely to find a new team until the case has been resolved.



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