The Italian cycling federation (FCI) responded to a month littered with doping news by tightening the disciplinarily actions against cyclists who test positive, including a lifetime ban from the squadra azzurra.
Italian cycling was shocked the most by the four doping cases of the Tour de France. One of its rising young stars, Riccardo Riccò, tested positive for EPO (Erythropoietin) after winning two stages during the race. To make matters worse, Italy had to deal with the cases of Marta Bastianelli, Paolo Bossoni and Giovanni Carini.
FCI's General Secretary Maria Cristina Gabriotti, on the behalf of President Renato Di Rocco, released a statement July 31 following a meeting on the previous day. It stated the FCI's concerns over the recent cases and issued new anti-doping actions penalties. The new rules that are set to take hold before the end of the year could see a positive rider paying fines, stripped of his racing licence and banned from the national team for life. The FCI will also apply the rules to managers and directeurs.
The new rules will not be retroactive and therefore would not affect Riccò or the other recent riders testing positive.