The federal council of the Italian Cycling Federation has confirmed that riders who have served suspensions of six months or more for doping infractions will not be able to ride the national championships or represent Italy at international level.
“The rampant problem of doping and the many ongoing investigations – which do not concern cycling alone, but many sports – mean that it is necessary to fight not only by suppressing doping but also with education,” FCI president Renato Di Rocco said.
Di Rocco’s resolution, which was tabled on May 30, was ratified by the FCI federal council in Terme di Vigliatore, Sicily on Thursday. The national road race championships also take place in Sicily over the weekend.
A statement from the FCI said that the rules of the national championships had been modified to forbid the participation of “athletes who have faced sanctions for doping with a suspension of 6 months or more from any anti-doping organisation for any violation of any anti-doping regulation.”
The same criteria are also set to be applied to the Italian national team, meaning that riders such as Alessandro Petacchi, Ivan Basso, Danilo Di Luca and Michele Scarponi will be unable to ride in the world championships.
Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) will be free to compete for Italy at the Worlds in Copenhagen in September, however, as he received a warning rather than a suspension for his 2005 positive test for betamethasone when it was accepted that the positive was caused by the use of an undeclared anti-inflammatory cream.
On Tuesday, Italian manager Paolo Bettini suggested that Bennati would be one of the leaders of his team provided that he was cleared to race, and appealed for “common sense” to be used in the application of the FCI ruling.