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De Bonis positive for EPO

Francesco De Bonis (Diquigiovanni) rides in the Giro d'Italia

Francesco De Bonis (Diquigiovanni) rides in the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Italian Francesco De Bonis tested positive for third generation Erythropoietin (EPO), CERA, before the Giro d'Italia, according to news agency RCD today. Testers took the control May 7, two days before the 2009 Giro d'Italia started in Venice.

Team Diquigiovanni suspended De Bonis, 27, from racing June 18. It made the decision after the International Cycling Union's (UCI) biological passport system showed abnormal anti-doping samples. The UCI published its results June 17, releasing the names of De Bonis, Pietro Caucchioli, Ricardo Serrano, Igor Astarloa and Rubén Lobato.

De Bonis became a professional with Gerolsteiner in 2008. He won his first and only race in Switzerland that year, a stage of the Tour de Romandie, May 3, 2008.

It was his last race with Gerolsteiner, who refused to field him in races. De Bonis "did not fit in well with the team," said Gerolsteiner's team manager, Hans-Michael Holczer, at the time.

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