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Two-year ban requested for Piepoli

Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Scott) in the 2008 Tour

Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Scott) in the 2008 Tour (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

By Gregor Brown

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor requested a two-year suspension for Leonardo Piepoli following a short meeting today in Rome. The 37-year-old Italian tested positive for blood booster Erythropoietin during the Tour de France.

Italy's anti-doping tribunal will review the recommendation by the Olympic Committee before it issues the official suspension.

The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) found Piepoli positive for the third generation Erythropoietin – CERA – from tests conducted on July 4 and 15 during the Tour de France. He won stage 10 to Hautacam, July 14, before the announcement of his positive doping control. His team, then known as Saunier Duval-Scott, withdrew from the race on July 17 after the French agency reported its rider Riccardo Riccò positive for CERA.

Piepoli met with prosecutor Ettore Torri of the Italian Olympic Committee for twenty minutes. He left the meeting in Rome without commenting to the press, according to AP. It was the first meeting of the two since Piepoli skipped the previous meeting and then requested the AFLD to counter-analyze his test. The analysis of the B samples also returned positive readings.

Piepoli is one of a handful of recent cases for third generation Erythropoietin, or EPO. Along with Riccò, Stefan Schumacher, Bernhard Kohl and Emanuele Sella also tested positive for the drug.