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Antidoping briefs: Petacchi, Piepoli cleared, D-Tour blood tests, Moreni, Klöden reacts

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Alessandro Petacchi (Milram)

Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cristian Moreni arrives at his CONI hearing

Cristian Moreni arrives at his CONI hearing (Image credit: AFP Photo)

Italian feds rejects CONI appeal

CONI's appeal to force the Italian Cycling Federation to exact a sanction against sprinter Alessandro Petacchi for his 'non-negative' for Salbutamol was rejected on Saturday. The agency had hoped to overturn a previous ruling by the federation which cleared the Milram rider of wrongdoing after he went over the limit for the amount of the drug in his urine during the Giro d'Italia on May 23.

CONI had initially recommended a one year suspension, but the punishment was rejected by the Italian federation in July. Petacchi resumed racing this month in the Rund um die Hainleite in Germany, and also took part in the GP Citta di Camaiore on Friday with an eye toward September's Vuelta a España.

Petacchi's case is not behind him just yet, however. The reason behind the federation's rejection of the appeal was that it is not the proper group to hear the appeal. The case should be appealed in the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, and CONI's antidoping prosecutor Ettore Torri said his organisation would launch an appeal with CAS shortly.

Piepoli cleared

The cycling federation of Monaco has cleared Saunier Duval's Leonardo Piepoli of doping charges. The Italian returned a 'non-negative' result for the asthma drug salbutamol during the Giro d'Italia, a drug for which he holds a medical exemption from the UCI. The amount of the drug in Piepoli's urine, however, exceeded limits set by the antidoping authorities, resulting in a suspension from his team pending the outcome of the investigation.

Both Piepoli and Milram's Alessandro Petacchi may still have to face appeals by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), the country's antidoping authority.

Piepoli hopes to resume racing in Spain on Tuesday in the Vuelta Ciclista a Burgos.

D-Tour blood tests

The Deutschland Tour promised more doping tests prior to the start, and the organisers carried through with that vow. Saturday before the time trial, a total of 47 riders from Quick.Step-Innergetic, Bouygues Télécom, Saunier Duval, T-Mobile, and Wiesenhof Felt were tested. Blood was taken and tested for haematocrit, haemogolbin and reticulites. None of the test results indicated any problem, and the results will now be compared with the blood profiles that the riders have filed with the UCI.

Another blow for Klöden

Andreas Klöden had thought that things couldn't get any worse after the positive doping tests of his team-mates Matthias Kessler and Alexander Vinokourov -- and then came the news about Andrey Kashechkin.

"After the criterium in Rhede, I had just begun to halfway focus on my next goal, the World's in Stuttgart -- and then my morale was plunged into the cellar again," he wrote on his website, "I don't want to judge anyone and the results of Kaschechkin's B-test are still out. But I simply can't understand that there are still riders in the peloton who don't seem to know what they are doing to themselves and to cycling."

Klöden noted that he wouldn't be attending the Astana training camp, as planned. "Instead I will continue to work with my trainer Thomas Schediwie for the Worlds. And I also have to discuss my athletic future with my management."

Moreni gets two year suspension

Italian Cristian Moreni has been given a two year suspension following a positive control for testosterone in the 11th stage of the Tour de France. The 34 year-old attended a hearing with CONI on Wednesday, who subsequently handed down the punishment. Moreni admitted to using the drug after his team was forced to withdraw from the Tour de France after his positive test.

Moreni was one of three riders to test positive during the 2007 Tour de France, along with Astana's Alexander Vinokourov (blood transfusion) and Saunier-Duval's Iban Mayo (EPO). He is one of several riders to test positive for testosterone along with T-Mobile's Patrik Sinkewitz, Astana's Matthias Kessler, Caisse d'Epargne rider Marco Fertonani, and most famously, 2006 Tour champion Floyd Landis.