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Di Gregorio EPO saga ends with a four-year ban

Rémy Di Grégorio at the courthouse in Marseille where he was questioned about alleged doping activities.
Rémy Di Grégorio at the courthouse in Marseille where he was questioned about alleged doping activities. (Image credit: AFP)

Rémy di Grégorio's doping case from the 2018 Paris-Nice has finally been concluded with the UCI imposing a four-year ban until March 7, 2022 on the Frenchman.

The ban resulted from an intelligence-based test taken after stage 5 of the 2018 Paris-Nice was added to UCI's running list of sanctions on Monday, with Di Grégorio's results from Paris-Nice through April 11, 2018 annulled.

Di Grégorio announced he would retire in September 2017 but returned for one more year with Delko Marseille Provence KTM in 2018, winning the mountains classification in Etoile de Bessèges and a stage in the Tour de la Provence.

During Paris-Nice, Di Grégorio tested positive for Aranesp, an easily detected recombinant version of human erythropoietin.

The case was not his first run-in with doping authorities. In 2012, Di Grégorio fell afoul of France's criminal laws against performance-enhancing drugs and sacked by his team after a police raid on the Cofidis hotel at the Tour de France. He was arrested along with his doctor, a Marseille-based 'naturopath' for ozone blood treatments.

Di Grégorio maintained his innocence and was cleared on charges of possessing doping products, later successfully suing Cofidis for wrongful dismissal.

However, a Marseille court ruled in 2018 that Di Grégorio's internet order that included 100 butterfly needles and 80 syringes, plus a 500mg bottle of glucose "undermined the ethics of sport" and issued a one-year suspended prison sentence for having equipment that can be used for doping.