By Gregor Brown
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) recommended a one-year suspension for Emanuele Sella, who tested positive for EPO-CERA this last July. The Italian, winner of three stages and the mountains jersey in the Giro d'Italia, cooperated with investigators to earn a reduced sentence.
CONI's Danilo di Tommaso told Cyclingnews why Sella, who would have normally been recommended to receive a two-year ban, was given half that. "He collaborated and named names, so he got a reduction, according to the WADA codes," he said. "It will now be sent to the disciplinary commission."
Sella met with CONI's prosecutor Ettore Torri in August. He admitted to doping in a two-hour meeting that took place at CONI's headquarters in Rome.
CONI sent its recommendation to the Italian cycling federation (FCI) disciplinary commission. It recently gave Italian Riccardo Riccò an 18-month suspension for using EPO-CERA prior to the Tour de France, but added six months to the sentence for his involvement with banned doping doctor Carlo Santuccione.
Sella won the climber's maglia verde at the Giro thanks to his dominating rides in the Dolomiti stages. He launched an attack from 50 kilometres out to win Alpe di Pampeago, stage 14, and won the next day with a 14-kilometre solo ride to the top of Passo Fedaia. His third stage win came in the Alps, the Giro's final mountain stage, with a 16-kilometre solo ride to Tirano.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) targeted Sella and found him positive for the third generation EPO in an out-of-competition control taken on July 23.