Di Luca's failed doping control confirmed

Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) before the stage

Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) before the stage (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Paris' Châtenay-Malabry lab confirmed Danilo Di Luca failed doping controls for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) - CERA in a counter-analysis, according to Italy's ANSA news agency. Last month, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced the Italian cyclist tested positive twice during the May's Giro d'Italia stage race.

Di Luca finished second overall in the Giro d'Italia, 41 seconds behind winner Denis Menchov. His two positive doping controls came from blood samples on May 20 (stage 11) and May 28 (stage 18).

He gave a total of five blood and 12 urine samples during the three-week Giro d'Italia.

The Châtenay-Malabry lab did the original testing on Di Luca's blood samples. Di Luca was not present for the counter-analysis of the B samples Tuesday in Châtenay-Malabry, in the suburbs of Paris. Doctor Santo Davide Ferrara, a medical expert at the Padova University, represented him.

The lab mailed a photograph of the results to a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) lab in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday for validation. Châtenay-Malabry received the validation and closed the examination last night.

A WADA lab in Barcelona, Spain, validated the original testing on the A samples.

Di Luca is ready to argue the results, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. His lawyer Ernesto De Toni plans to challenge the methods used by the Châtenay-Malabry lab.

Floyd Landis unsuccessfully challenged the Châtenay-Malabry lab when he tested positive for testosterone in the 2006 Tour de France.

Di Luca previously served a three-month suspension in 2007 for visiting banned sports doctor Carlo Santuccione in 2004. The Italian cycling federation (FCI) suspended Santuccione for five years in 1995 and for life in 2007.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) will review Di Luca's Giro d'Italia case and should request a two-year suspension for Di Luca.

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