Danilo Di Luca tested positive for the blood booster EPO and has been fired by his team Vini Fantini. He will not participate in the final two stages of the Giro.
Di Luca, who made numerous unsuccessful attacks throughout the 2013 Giro d’Italia, tested positive in a pre-event screening on April 29; when all the results were analyzed, Di Luca’s showed traces of EPO, a chemical which increases red blood cell count.
Di Luca has the option of asking that his “B” sample be tested. His suspension is provisional at this point.
Giro Director Calls Di Luca ‘Stupid’
Giro d’Italia director Michele Acquarone told Cyclingnews, “I’m angry because I think: ‘How can a rider or a person of his age be so stupid and not understand that the music has changed and not understand the damage he’s doing to himself and the whole movement’.”
“I’m not trying to minimize things but I think it’s a case of an old rider who hasn’t understood that the world has changed.”
Luca Scinto , Di Luca’s Directeur Sportif at Vuni Fantini, made similar comments: “He’s mad, he’s a cretino, he needs treatment. There’s nothing else to say.
“We gave him a second chance and the sponsors put their faith in him and this is how he pays us back.
“It’s crazy that a rider thinks they can get away with it like that.”
Many Failed Tests
Danilo Di Luca is no stranger to negative attention form anti-doping agancies.The 37-year-old Italian rider was caught for using CERA, an EPO derivative, in 2009 and suspended for two years (later reduced to nine months.) He had previously served shorter suspensions in 2004 and 2007 for involvement in doping rings.
Di Luca won the 2007 Giro before his ban, but he gave a suspect test during that race. His hormonal profiles indicated he might have had an illegal transfusion, but he was cleared due to insufficient evidence.