The Italian Olympic Committee has announced that Raimondas Rumsas Jr – the son of former professional Raimondas Rumsas – has tested positive for the growth hormone releasing peptide GHRP-6 in an out of competition test carried out at his home in Tuscany on September 4.
The Rumsas family is already under investigation after youngest son Linas died suddenly in May. The 21-year-old was found unconscious and Italian police suspect a link to doping products or illegal use of medicines.
According to reports in Italy, medicines, insulin, painkillers, syringes and other unlabelled drugs were discovered by police during a search of the Rumsas home near Lucca, in that of a sponsor's house, and Raimondas Rumas Jr's car. A total of five people are said to be under investigation for the distribution of doping products, dealing in stolen goods and violating the anti-doping law.
Rumsas Jr raced for the hugely successful Team Soligo Amaru' Palazzago Sirio managed by Olivano Locatelli, which has former Saeco professional Salvatore Commesso as a directeur sportif, but the team moved quickly to distance itself from the case, claiming that Rumsas had raced autonomously since the death of his younger brother.
Raimondas Rumsas Senior, who finished third in the 2002 Tour de France, is no stranger to doping investigations. His wife Edita was arrested with a vehicle full of drugs on her way home from that Tour de France. A trial was finally held in 2005, with both Raimondas and Edita handed four-month suspended sentences in January 2006.
He later tested positive for EPO at the 2003 Giro d'Italia but went onto dominate the Italian Grand Fondo scene for several years.
In 2012 Rumsas spoke to Cyclingnews as he followed Raimondas Jr at the World Championships in Valkenberg as a part of the Lithuanian national team. Asked if he felt his son was entering a cleaner environment, Rumsas said in 2012: "It depends on the person and it all depends on the individual's education and upbringing. It starts as children with the parents and then with coaches and so on. Before anything else, you need to look at the education, and then when they're older, 18 or 21 years, it's up to the individual to think and choose his own path."
A recent investigation by Italian journalist Marco Bonarrigo revealed that Linas' body has already been cremated, with Edita and Raimondas patiently waiting for the outcome of the investigation before taking his ashes to Lithuania.
"Fifteen years ago, we were a man and a women who loved each other and who were blamed for everything that was wrong with our sport. Today we're a couple who lost a son but someone still wants to hurt us," Edita told Il Corriere della Sera recently.
"We'll explain the medicines that were seized when they think we deserved to be questioned. We didn't talk to the boys about this stuff: You simply don't dope. We also want to know how Linas died but nobody explains why. His ashes are at our home, we'll only take them to Lithuania when we know the truth. Nobody can judge us by the way we mourn."
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