Giro d'Italia stage winner Emanuele Sella admitted doping during a two-hour meeting led by Ettore Torri of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) on Friday. Sella had tested positive for EPO-CERA in an out of competition test on July 23. At the time, he and his team CSF Navigare, were not competing in the Tour de France. He was later suspended by his team.
According to La Gazetta dello Sport, Sella, who was accompanied by his lawyer Claudio Pasqualin and by defender Eriberto Rosso, said in a statement after the meeting that he "had access to the banned drug and had explained the context under which it was received."
Sella also named his sources to CONI, but he declined to state them publicly outside of the meeting with CONI so as not to impede the organization's investigations.
"I feel a great weight has been lifted by cooperating," said Sella.
"We will go to trial. We await the formalities, but given the cooperation, we expect a reduction in accordance with the code," said his lawyer Pasqualin. "The punishment may be cut in half." The standard punishment is a two-year ban from racing.
Sella won three stages and the mountains classification in the Giro d'Italia in May. He ended up sixth in the general classification.
Fellow Italian Ricardo Riccó also tested positive for CERA in July. He was fired from his team and withdrew from the Tour de France after winning two stages.
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