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Cycling: Drugs cheat Di Luca banned for life

Rider tested positive for EPO before Giro d'Italia

05 December, 17:15
Cycling: Drugs cheat Di Luca banned for life

(ANSA) - Rome, December 5 - Danilo Di Luca was banned from cycling for life by an Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) tribunal on Thursday after testing positive for blood-booster EPO earlier this year. The 37-year-old rider was given a life ban as he is a serial offender. The 2007 Giro winner was banned for two years in 2009 after testing positive for another drug, CERA, in the world's second-biggest stage race that year, when he came second before being stripped of his place in the standings. The ban was subsequently reduced to 15 months.

He was also banned for three months in 2007 for links to a doping-tainted doctor.

Di Luca did not finish this year's Giro in May after it was announced days before the end that he failed a surprise test taken at his home before the race started.

Cycling in general, and Italian cycling in particular, has been badly hit by a long string of doping scandals.

Di Luca's Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team sacked him after the positive test and said that they would also seek damages from him.

The Italian Professional Cyclists' Association (ACCPI) said it would do the same.

Even one of sport's most infamous drugs cheats, Lance Armstrong, blasted Di Luca.

"Knowing I have 0 cred on the doping issue - I still can't help but think, "really Di Luca? Are you that f**king stupid??"," Armstrong, who was stripped of seven consecutive Tour de France victories for doping, said via his Twitter account, @lancearmstrong.