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Petacchi decision expected this week

Alessandro Petacchi expects to learn his fate this week, as the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) is expected to announce its decision on the doping charges stemming from the 2007 Giro d'Italia. The CAS held a hearing on the matter April 2 but said that it would issue its decision "in three to four weeks."

The Team Milram sprinter tested positive for Salbutamol, an asthma medication, after stage 11 of last year's Giro d'Italia. Petacchi has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) from the UCI to use the drug, but the amount of the substance found in his body indicated an abuse. The controversy caused him to miss the Tour de France, even if in the end of July the Italian Cycling Federation cleared him of the charges. That decision was appealed to the CAS by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

Petacchi, 34, had hoped to ride the upcoming Giro d'Italia and add to his total of 24 stage wins, but a serious case of bronchitis put an end to the plans. He first got ill during Milano-Sanremo and came down with the bronchitis during the Tour of Turkey, where he won two stages. Over the weekend the team announced that he had not been able to train for 12 days and thus would not ride the Giro, which starts this coming Saturday.

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