Italian Vincenzo Di Falco, who rides for the Mercatone Uno team, has been banned from competing for a year by the Italian cycling federation’s disciplinary commission, the panel announced on Friday.
The 22-year-old Di Falco, a teammate of former Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner Marco Pantani, tested positive for Nesp, a banned endurance-enhancer similar to EPO (erythropoetin) during a stage of the Lombardy International week race on May 10.
His compatriot Giampaolo Caruso, a 22-year-old with the Spanish ONCE-Eroski team, was handed a six-month ban for testing positive for nandrolone during a race in Australia on April 29.
The commission also sanctioned Lampre rider Alberto Loddo, the 24-year-old being forced to sit out for a month after his positive test for caffeine on April 13 during a race in Portugal. –Copyright 2003/AFP