Pellizotti banned for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo)

Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo) (Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

Italy’s Franco Pellizotti has been suspended for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after it upheld an appeal by the UCI.

The 33 year-old was snared by the UCI’s Biological Passport before last year’s Giro d’Italia but was then cleared by the Italian Olympic Committee in October.

Pellizotti’s legal team had requested an urgent verdict and the arbitrators took just five days to reach their decison. His ban is expected to last until May 2012. Fellow Italian Pietro Caucchioli was also given a ban, with CAS confirming the two-year suspension issued by the Italian Olympic Committee.

As an extra penalty, CAS has cancelled all of Pelizotti’s results from May 17, 2009. He will lose his second place at the Giro d’Italia (he finished third but Danilo Di Luca was subsequently disqualified for doping), his stage victory at the Tour de France and his polka-dot climber’s jersey. He has also been fined 115,000 Euro.

Pellizotti has always denied doping but several blood tests caught the eye of the Biological Passport experts.

The CAS sentence reinforces the validity of the UCI’s Biological Passport programme although a verdict on the case of Tadej Valjavec has still to be announced.

“We’re extremely satisfied especially because the quality of our work and our programme has been recognised by CAS,” UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews.

“We were confident from the beginning but once again you never know what can happen when you launch an appeal. In this case the final decision was in favour of the UCI and the future of the anti-doping fight.”

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