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Jose Serpa (Androni Giocattoli) and team manager Gianni Savio at the finish in Orvieto.
Androni Giocattoli manager accused of procuring EPO by former rider
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has requested a four-year suspension for Androni Giocattoli manager Gianni Savio for violations of article 2.8 of the WADA code, namely the administration or attempted administration of prohibited substances.
In May, Savio was implicated in a Massa-based doping investigation and accused of dealing doping products by his former rider Luca De Angeli. After receiving the dossier of the investigation from prosecutors in Massa, CONI has decided to refer Savio to its anti-doping tribunal, and requested a four-year ban.
Parallel to the sporting case against Savio, a preliminary hearing will take place in Massa on Thursday to decide on whether to archive or refer the public prosecutor’s investigation.
According to La Repubblica, a passage in the Massa dossier states that Savio “procured on several occasions the substance known as EPO for the professional cyclist De Angeli Luca.” De Angeli had two spells with Savio’s team, then known as Colombia-Selle Italia, and tested positive for EPO in 2005.
In a statement issued to Tuttobici on Tuesday, Savio denied the allegations and said that he has already opened defamation proceedings against De Angeli. He also claimed that CONI is not yet in possession of all of the facts pertaining to the case.
“On December 15 the preliminary hearing of the case in question will take place before the Court in Massa, in which further elements of evidence will be evaluated, to which CONI did not have access at the time of the referral,” said Savio, whose Androni Giocattoli team is hoping to secure one of the wildcard invitations to the Giro d'Italia.
“I have been accused of a crime I didn’t commit or even come close to committing, and I am certain of being able to demonstrate that with established proof.”