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Caucchioli gets two-year vacation

Pietro Caucchioli received a two-year racing ban for irregular values on his biological passport doping controls, Italian officials announced Thursday. The 34-year-old will be banned through June 17, 2011.

Caucchioli was among a first wave of five riders who were singled out last year in the first effort to use the results of the biological passport to institute racing bans. The UCI cited tests taken during the 2008 Tour of Poland that revealed inconsistencies in his blood profiles.

Caucchioli, who was later fired by his Lampre team, did not test positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Italian Francesco De Bonis was the first rider to be banned under the biological passport criteria when he received a similar, two-year racing ban last week.

Here is the official statement released by the UCI on Thursday:

“The UCI announces that following its request for proceedings against the Italian rider Pietro Caucchioli for a breach of the Anti-Doping Rules on the basis of his biological passport, the National Anti-Doping Tribunal of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) has decided to sanction the rider by a two-year suspension.”

Citing data from the biological passport, three more riders were sidelined from competition ahead of this year’s Giro d’Italia. In early May, Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Jesus Rosendo (Andalucía-CajaSur) and Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r) were revealed by the UCI.

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