Piepoli admits mistake

Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Scott) in the 2008 Tour

Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Scott) in the 2008 Tour (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Leonardo Piepoli admitted his mistake of doping during the Tour de France in July. The Italian faces a two-year suspension and the end of his cycling career.

"I made a mistake and it is right that I pay. I was advised by the wrong people in difficult moments, but I made the mistake," Piepoli said to La Gazzetta dello Sport following a hearing last week.

The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) found him positive for the third generation Erythropoietin – CERA – from tests conducted on July 4 and 15 during the Tour. Piepoli won stage 10 to Hautacam, July 14, before the announcement of his positive doping control.

His team, then known as Saunier Duval-Scott, withdrew from the race on July 17 after the French agency reported Piepoli's teammate Riccardo Riccò positive for CERA.

He confessed he injected himself with the doping substance, but did not seek to collaborate in a hearing Thursday with Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor. Piepoli, unlike Riccò, did not name Doctor Carlo Santuccione as a supplier, according to the newspaper.

"It is futile to name names, it is a lot of people who were already prosecuted," he said

The anti-doping prosecutor, Ettore Torri, called for a two-year suspension shortly after the meeting. Piepoli, known for his climbing skills, faces the end of his career.

Italy's anti-doping tribune will act on the suspension request and determine the final sentence. It issued Riccò a ban of two years in October. (GB)

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