The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has set the date for a final judgement on the doping case involving Danilo Di Luca on October 15. The Italian, who finished second overall in last year's Giro d'Italia, returned two positive anti-doping controls for EPO-CERA during the race.
The positive results were announced in July 2009, and the B samples confirmed positive in early August by the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory in Paris. While Di Luca has maintained his innocence in public and appealed his initial two-year ban, the Gazzetta dello Sport reports that according to unconfirmed sources, Di Luca may have collaborated with anti-doping authorities in recent months, providing them with "interesting information useful to revenue tax officers and Italian doping police NAS."
On the basis of the international anti-doping code, this cooperation could get him a reduced ban and even see him back in the peloton as soon as January 2011, Gazzetta claims. According to the paper, the Italian has even already had contacts with various teams, including the newly-found Geox outfit.
Di Luca is thought to defend his innocence by questioning the analysis methods used in the French Châtenay-Malabry laboratory. His racing ban ends July 21, 2011.