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Piepoli heard by Monaco federation

Piepoli

Piepoli (Image credit: Sirotti)

Italian climber Leonardo Piepoli will be heard by the cycling federation of Monaco tomorrow for his post-race 'non-negative' doping control following the Giro d'Italia stage to Monte Zoncolan, May 30, won by Saunier Duval teammate Gilberto Simoni. The 35 year-old who races with a license issued by Monaco, where he has lived since 1999, recorded a reading of 1800 nanograms per millilitre versus the limit of 1000. Following the announcement of the result on June 13 a Barcelona lab was unsuccessful in determining if the asthma drug that been inhaled as normal or injected.

"The summons arrived on Saturday," explained Piepoli to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The rider has a medical certificate which allows him to use Salbutamol above the 1000 limit. "Doping with Ventolin [a manufacturers name of Salbutamol - ed.] is impossible, there is a lot of scientific literature to demonstrate this. The certificate that I have does not have limits for use, and I have to say that I don't remember if on the day of Zoncolan I used it more than other days, it would be deceitful to give an indication as such."

Saunier Duval suspended Piepoli on July 5 as per the ProTour Code of Ethics that prohibit a rider racing if he is involved in an investigation.

The winner of the stage to Santuario Nostra Signora Della Guardia on May 22 has been continuing to train. "It is the only way not to think of this incident. ... The bicycle is the only 'medicine' that enables me to get over this nervousness.

"Have I heard from Petacchi?" he questioned of the Italian sprinter who is being investigated for a similar 'non-negative' control. "I have not thought to call him. He is going through difficult moments of his won and I don't want to disturb him." Piepoli will be represented by Federico Cecconi with assistance from pharmacist Giuseppe Pieraccini.

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