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Petacchi suspended by Milram

Alessandro Petacchi (Milram)

Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) (Image credit: Sirotti)

The sprinter awaits CONI

Alessandro Petacchi has been suspended by his team, Milram, after the results of his post-Giro stage controls from May 23 were revealed 'non-negative' for Salbutamol. The ProTour team adheres to the Code of Ethics that requires stopping an athlete from competing while there is an ongoing investigation. The suspension comes after the Italian cycling federation (FCI) requested the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping offices to investigate Petacchi's non-negative result.

Petacchi, a four-time Tour de France stage winner, risks missing out on this year's Tour depending on the timing of the CONI hearing. The Italian sprinter and Milram representatives are pushing CONI for a speedy process, though; the first date is Monday (tomorrow is a holiday in Rome).

"I am waiting for the official communication [from the FCI] and then I am available to start this immediately, the first day possible," explained Ettore Torri to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Torri was responsible for the investigation that resulted in Ivan Basso being suspended for two years.

"Petacchi's case is particular. It does not seem like a case to be pushed ahead. The details will be valued with absolute sincerity. I also intend on asking the option of medics to see if the abnormal values of Salbutamol are the same that were declared by the athlete."

CONI's investigation, and the possible shelving by the FCI Disciplinary Commission, will take some time and put Petacchi at risk for the 94th Tour de France.

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