Italian Championships ban only affects riders suspended after 1 August 2008

The Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) has clarified that only riders who were handed doping suspensions after 1 August 2008 will be prevented from taking part in the national championships.

Earlier in the week, FCI president Renato Di Rocco announced plans to bar riders who had served bans from participating, but in a statement released on Wednesday the FCI stressed that only riders who had been suspended after 1 August 2008 would be affected by the new regulation.

At a meeting of the FCI’s federal council in July 2008, it was decided that any riders who tested positive from that point onwards would be excluded from consideration for Italian national teams at all levels, and now the new regulation governing entry to the national championships will use the same cut-off point of August 1 of that year.

“The presidential resolution, in a continuation of what was requested by the federal council in 2008 in regard to national teams, extends to national championships of all disciplines and categories the ban on the participation of riders who test positive from 1 August 2008,” read the FCI’s statement.

Ivan Basso, Michele Scarponi and Stefano Garzelli are among the riders who will thus be able to participate in this month’s Italian road championships in Aci Catena, Sicily, as their doping-related suspensions were all handed down before 2008.

Danilo Di Luca and Davide Rebellin are among those who will be prevented from lining up, as their positive tests for CERA came after August 2008.

The status of Riccardo Riccò remains unclear, for although his positive test for CERA came in July 2008 at the Tour de France, he was only formally sanctioned after the August 1 cut-off point, when he received a 20-month suspension that October.

The controversial Riccò returned to action in March 2010, but was fired by his Vacansoleil-DCM team on suspicion of doping earlier this year. The Italian suffered kidney problems after allegedly undergoing a blood transfusion in February. After initially hinting at retirement, Riccò has since voiced his desire to make another comeback and he signed for the Meridiana-Kamen Continental team on Wednesday.



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