Danilo Di Luca has told reporters that he is "surprised" by the news that he tested positive for EPO. The Italian tested positive for the substance in an out-of-competition test on April 29, with the news breaking Friday morning. He has subsequently been fired by his Vini Fantini team and removed from the Giro d'Italia. However, the rider's B sample must be analyzed before any sanction can be considered.
As he left the team hotel in Dimaro, Italy this morning reporters gathered in search of a comment or reaction. While admitting he was surprised, he also refrained from adding any substantial comment, saying that he would wait for the results of the B test before making a statement.
"We'll wait for the contra-analysis and then we'll see,” he told reporters in a video posted on Gazzetta’s website.
When asked by one reporter if he aware of the damage he’d caused to the sport, Di Luca said. "We’ll speak later for sure. Not now."
As he entered a car and left the scene Di Luca was finally asked if he as surprised by the news. "Yes. Arrivederci," he said.
Di Luca had not answered the phone when Cyclingnews attempted to make contact earlier this morning.
The Italian had previously tested positive for the EPO variant CERA at the 2009 Giro d’Italia and was handed a two-year suspension, that was subsequently reduced to 15 months after he apparently provided information on doping methodologies to the Italian Olympic Committee.