Danilo Di Luca has been summoned to a hearing before the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in Rome next Wednesday which could see him banned from the sport for life.
Di Luca was forced to quit the Giro d'Italia earlier this year after testing positive for EPO during an out of competition test preceding the race. Di Luca's teammate, Mauro Santambrogio, also tested positive for EPO following a control on the opening day of the Giro.
With scandal brewing, the Vini Fantini team were quick to distance themselves from Di Luca following news of his positive test. Apart from Valentino Sciotti, the close ally of Di Luca who secured a place for him within the Vini-Fantini set-up, it is hard to see any other sponsors wanting to be associated with the tainted Italian.
Di Luca's troubles began following his implication in the Oil for Drugs in 2004. His second strike was a positive test for CERA at the 2009 Giro d'Italia, brought on by the "pipì degli angeli" scandal of the 2007 Giro.
Now facing sanction for his third offence, 37-year-old Italian, appears to be a lost cause with Giro chief Michele Acquarone declaring: "He needs help."
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