24-year-old Italian Damiano Caruso is free to resume racing with Liquigas-Cannondale following a decision by the doping tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to give him a one-year back-dated suspension for a doping infraction. The case dates back to 2007, before he turned professional.
The CONI also announced today it has suspended Danilo Andrenacci for two years. The 33-year-old Italian tested positive for recombinant EPO at the Trofeo Melinda-Val di Non on August 20, 2011 while racing for D'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo. Andrenacci's ban runs through December 19, 2013.
No details were given as to the doping infraction of Caruso. His ban was dated October 6, 2010 to October 5, 2011, disqualifying all of the results he earned while racing in his first season for the Liquigas-Cannondale team. The best result was a fourth overall in the Challenge Calabria last January.
Caruso was punished for "complicity in the attempted acquisition of banned substances", an infraction dating to his time with the Mastromarco amateur team, the year prior to his victory in the U23 Italian road championships. He turned professional with LPR Brakes in 2009 based upon that result among others. He moved on to De Rosa-Stac Plastic before being signed by Liquigas-Cannondale for the 2011 season.
"The disqualification has to be considered moderate compared to the request of the Italian Procura Antidoping, but Damiano is sure of his innocence and absolute non involvement and after reading the judgment and grounds for the decision," his agent's statement read. "He will immediately evaluate the possibility to appeal before the CAS, in order to delete also this disqualification so that his past, present and future image be clean in accordance with his behaviour of clean and proper rider."
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