One Spaniard and two Italians in question
Three riders' anti-doping controls during the Giro d'Italia have resulted in 'non-negative' according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Italian Grand Tour was one of the most open races in years, blighted briefly by Aketza Peña's nandrolone result and, now, the news of these three cyclists, of which one is Spanish and two are Italian. Counter-analysis is pending and the UCI has yet to confirm the findings.
The top-classification men seem to be out of the suspicion spotlight due to the (unauthorized) CONI controls carried out on May 31, after the stage to Monte Zoncolan.
In the case of the Spaniard, the 'non-negative' is a result of an elevated testosterone level. The Italian Federal Sports Medicine anti-doping laboratory (FMSI) in Rome has sent samples to Barcelona for further verification, pending confirmation from the UCI. The tests would seek to prove, like in the case of Floyd Landis, whether there is evidence of synthetic testosterone.
The two Italians' results stemmed from the presence of Salbutamol. The substance usually found in drugs used to control asthma but in the case of the two Italians, the dose was over the 1000 nanograms per millilitre limit.
The Italians could in fact have a special dispensation from their doctors for the use of excess Salbutamol but for one of the two La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the level is high enough not to support a therapeutic use. Controversially, medical certifications permit the use of Salbutamol above the 1000 limit with no upper end. The outcome for the two Italians could be similar to Igor González de Galdeano's case in the 2002 Tour de France. The Basque registered a reading of 1360 nanograms but the UCI did not count this as a 'positive' and it allowed him to continue racing.
Cyclingnews will report on the case as it unfolds.