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Piepoli receives two-year ban

Leonardo Piepoli, 37, racing in the 2008 Giro d'Italia

Leonardo Piepoli, 37, racing in the 2008 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Leonardo Piepoli received a two-year suspension this morning by Italy's anti-doping tribunal in Rome. The Italian from Puglia, who failed a blood test for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) at the 2008 Tour de France, faces the end of his sporting career.

The suspension period starts today, January 26, and ends January 25, 2011.

The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) found Piepoli, 37, positive for the third generation Erythropoietin – CERA – from tests conducted on July 4 and 15. He won stage 10 to Hautacam, July 14, before the announcement of his positive doping control.

The team withdrew from the Tour de France on July 17 after the French agency reported Riccardo Riccò positive for CERA.

Piepoli met with Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) prosecutor Ettore Torri on December 18. Torri requested a two-year suspension shortly after the meeting.

The rider is one of five recent cases for CERA. Along with Riccò, Stefan Schumacher, Bernhard Kohl and Emanuele Sella also tested positive for the blood booster.