Actually danilo di luca was not wanted in his team, only the sponsor pushed for a commitment – now the professional cyclist of the racing team vini fantini has been convicted of doping again.
As the organizers of the giro d’italia announced, the 2007 round winner tested positive for the blood doping drug EPO. As a result, the world governing body UCI suspended the 37-year-old from the giro, which ends on sunday and after the youngest weather capers including the cancellation of the 19. And defusing the 20. Stage is virtually decided.
"This is a gross stupidity, we are severely disappointed," francesco pelosi, spokesman for di lucas team vini fantini told the news agency dpa at the team hotel di maro. Inspectors had di luca surprise on 29. April visited and tested at his home. If the test is confirmed in the B-sample, the italian professional cyclist will have to face a lifetime ban.
Bitter for the second-rate racing team: the repeat offender did not fit into the concept of vini fantini at all. "But the team sponsor has insisted on taking him in. The two have been friends for many years," reported spokesman pelosi. Team boss luca scinto had also spoken out against di luca, but in the end had given in to the sponsor’s insistence. "He’s crazy, a complete idiot, he should get treatment," scinto scolded on "cyclingnews.Com". "We gave him a second chance, the sponsor trusted him, and this is how he pays it back."
Di luca had already been convicted once of doping. During the 2009 tour of italy he tested positive for the doping substance CERA and was sentenced to a two-year ban. Sentence reduced to nine months for cooperating with anti-doping authorities. Already after the giro victory in 2007, he had been given a three-month ban for allegedly being a patient of the suspected doping doctor carlo santuccione.
The manager of the sky team also expressed his dismay at the doping news. "This is of course a huge stupidity. It’s a mouthful," said dave brailsford, adding: "it’s a shame the old generation hasn’t learned anything."Before di luca, french professional cyclist sylvain georges of team ag2r la mondiale tested positive for heptaminol at the giro.
The doping finding was not the only bad news for the giro organizers on friday – on the contrary: because of the persistent snowfall the 19. The first stage, which went over two passes and ended with a mountain finish in the martello valley in south tyrol, had to be completely cancelled. Sky team manager brailsford said: "everyone had cancelled the stage in these weathers."
Vincenzo nibali’s impressive time trial victory on thursday means that he can hardly be denied the overall victory, especially since the penultimate stage in the dolomites on saturday was also significantly softened. The planned dolomite climbs karerpass, passo san pellegrino and passo giau have been taken out of the program. At least the peloton is expected to climb the last mountains on the penultimate stage of the day, which starts in schlanders and runs for 210 kilometers across sudtirol. After the passo tre croci, the mountain finish at the three peaks is coming up. The giro ends on sunday in brescia.