The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has requested a suspension for Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) for allegedly attempting to procure banned substances.
In a brief statement issued on Thursday afternoon, CONI announced that it has referred Caruso to its anti-doping tribunal for “complicity in the attempted acquisition of banned substances,” a violation of article 2.8 of the WADA code.
The four-year ban requested by CONI is to be back-dated to 6 December 2010, and two years of the sentence are to be suspended. Thus, if Caruso is found guilty of the infraction, he would have the possibility of returning to competitive action at the end of 2012.
While it is not clear what substances Caruso is accused of attempting to acquire, his Liquigas-Cannondale team said that the alleged offence dates back to 2007 “when the rider was not a professional, and was a member of the Mastromarco amateur team.”
“Liquigas Sport wishes to underline its own desire to know more of the details of the matter and is granting the rider Caruso the possibility of clarifying his own position with the appropriate bodies as soon as possible,” read a statement from Liquigas.
“At the moment, the team will not take any action against the rider until sporting justice brings its own work to a conclusion.”
Caruso, who hails from Ragusa in Sicily, moved to Tuscany in 2007 to ride with the Mastromarco squad. Italian under 23 champion in 2008, Caruso turned professional with LPR Brakes the next year. He joined Liquigas-Cannondale at the beginning of this season.