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Scarponi banned for 18 months

Michele Scarponi racing in Coppi e Bartali

Michele Scarponi racing in Coppi e Bartali (Image credit: Sirotti)

The Italian Cycling Federation suspended Michele Scarponi (Acqua & Sapone) for 18 months on Friday for his role in Operación Puerto according to the Associated Press. The Federation's disciplinary commission followed the suggestion of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). His ban went into effect May 15 and will run through November 15, 2008.

For his cooperation during the investigation, Scarponi did not receive the full two year standard ban from the sport. The 27-year-old had admitted ties to the scandal, but not doping. Scarponi was charged with using or attempting to use banned substances or doping methods and possession such substances or methods.

Scarponi's sentence comes soon after Ivan Basso was suspended for two years for similar offenses.

Scarponi signed a ten-page confession in early May after being questioned by anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri.

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