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Italian paper calls Giro doping test results 'abnormal'

Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport is reporting that Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas), Eddy Mazzoleni (Astana), Gilberto Simoni and Riccardo Riccò (both Saunier Duval - Prodir) are being scrutinized by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) for what are being called 'abnormally low' hormone levels.

The newspaper characterized the results as 'extremely bizarre' saying that they were returned from blood and urine tests given after the stage to Monte Zoncolan on May 30th.

CONI is reported to have requested a meeting with UCI president Pat McQuaid regarding the alleged abnormal results and wants access to the UCI's files containing the athletes' quarterly blood tests to compare against the Giro test values.

The low hormone values are said to be rare as a natural occurrence - levels expected in prepubescent males and not those of fully mature adults - and a red flag to the possible use of masking agents designed to thwart anti-doping controls. However, decreased levels of testosterone have been demonstrated during a study of riders in the 1999 Vuelta a España published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (in 2001).