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Italian police search Popovych's home in Tuscany

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Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack)

Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack) (Image credit:
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Yaroslav Popovych takes a turn on the front of the peloton

Yaroslav Popovych takes a turn on the front of the peloton (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) gets the spray thing happening.

Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel) gets the spray thing happening. (Image credit: AFP Photo)

Italian police and customs officers have searched Yaroslav Popovych's home in Tuscany as part of a doping investigation centred in the northern town of Padua.

The search of the Team RadioShack rider's home was carried out at eight o'clock on Thursday evening but details only began to emerge on Saturday morning.

According to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport, the search warrant was issued by public prosecutor Bendetto Roberti, who is leading several doping investigation in Italy, including one involving sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, who is accused of using the banned drug Pfc. Danilo Di Luca recently revealed details of his doping techniques to Roberti to obtain a reduction in his suspension.

Gazzetta dello Sport report that some substances were taken away from Popovych's home and are currently being studied by police.

The RadioShack team has told Cyclingnews that the police took Popovych's computers and mobile phones. The Ukrainian rider has told the team that the substances taken by police were not illegal. He is said to be unhappy about the search but confident of the outcome of the investigation. 

No specific reasons have so far emerged for the police action. Gazzetta dello Sport suggest it could have been sparked by Popovych recently testifying in front of a grand jury in Los Angeles as part of the on-going investigation centred around Lance Armstrong. Popovych rode with Armstrong in 2005 at the Discovery Channel team, at Astana in 2009 and at RadioShack this year.

Popovych was served a subpoena on October 22 while attending the Livestrong Challenge charity ride in Armstrong’s hometown of Austin, Texas. He then stayed in the USA and testified on November 3. His lawyer Ken Miller said he denied ever witnessing doping during his 90-minute testimony.