Diego Ulissi returns adverse analytical finding at Giro d'Italia

Diego Ulissi has been suspended by his Lampre-Merida team after returning an adverse analytical finding, the team has confirmed.

An anti-doping test completed after the 11th stage of the Giro d’Italia showed Ulissi to have elevated levels of salbutamol in his system. Ulissi was shown to have 1,900 ng/ml in his system, significantly higher than the 1,000 ng/ml allowed by the UCI.

“The rider, as per internal team health code, will be provisionally suspended, consequently he will not be attending the national team training camp, and he requests the opening and analysis of sample B,” the team said in a statement released today.

“The athlete himself and the medical staff of the team will continue to explore the reasons why the urine has been identified as having an abnormal and high presence of salbutamol, compared to only two inhalations performed.”

Ulissi refutes the levels reported in the test findings. If the B sample tests positive, then Ulissi could face a lengthy ban from the sport. According to the statement, Ulissi has requested to undergo a “controlled excretion study.”

Ulissi won two stages of this year’s Giro d’Italia – stages 5 and 8. He was in seventh in the general classification, 1:43 behind maglia rosa Cadel Evans, going into stage 11. However, a crash during the stage saw him lose more than four minutes and drop out of contention. He did continue but later dropped out before stage 18, with a sore throat and fever.

Along with the team’s doctor Dr. Carlo Guardascione, Ulissi had declared the use of a Ventolin inhaler – due to a bronchial spasm. The Italian was allowed two puff of the inhaler, which would equate to 100 ng/ml. He was also cleared to take Paracetamol, to alleviate pain after he suffered a crash earlier in the race.

In 2007, Alessandro Petacchi tested positive for elevated levels of salbutamol. The sprinter was banned for a year, when he was shown to have 1352 ng/m in his urine.

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