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Di Luca appeals three-month suspension

By Gregor Brown

Giro d'Italia winner Danilo Di Luca has appealed his three-month suspension relating to the Oil for Drugs investigation. The 31 year-old Italian from Abruzzo, accused of using the services of Doctor Carlo Santuccione, appealed the Italian cycling federation (FCI) Disciplinary Commission's decision of last October to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The CAS verdict may arrive as late as April – after the suspension of Di Luca finishes (January 16) – but Di Luca wants to fight what he believes was a unjustifiable verdict. "It is a question of principle," he said to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I have said from the start that the sentence did not seem justifiable, and I want to demonstrate my innocence."

Santuccione was disqualified as a Italian sports medicine doctor for five years in 1995 after being found to have provided doping substances to athletes.

After closing out a three-year contract with Liquigas at the end of this month, Di Luca will ride with Team LPR in 2008. He signed for the Italian Professional Continental team last month.

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