By Agence France Presse

The Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) on Monday suspended cyclist Leonardo Piepoli from competition for two years for failing a dope test taken during last year’s Tour de France, Ansa news agency reported.

The 37-year-old Piepoli won the 10th stage of the race in the Pyrenees, but in October the French Anti-Doping Agency announced that the Italian had tested positive for CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator) — the new generation of EPO — in two re-tested samples from the Tour.

The two samples were taken from July 4, one day before the Tour began, and July 15, the day after Piepoli’s stage win.

Piepoli was subsequently fired by his Saunier Duval team for breaking their code of ethics after they had pulled out of the Tour following teammate Ricardo Ricco’s positive test for EPO.

Former teammate Ricco, who admitted doping, was also hit with a two-year ban although he has taken an appeal to Lausanne’s Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the hope of having it reduced.