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By Agence France Presse
Italian cyclist Emanuele Sella, who won three stages at this year’s Tour of Italy, has failed an International Cycling Union (UCI) drugs test, according to reports on Tuesday.
Sella, who rides for the CSF team, tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin) in an out-of-competition test on July 23.
The 27-year-old would not be drawn into commenting on the control, telling the ANSA news agency: “I know nothing of this story. Nothing has been said to me. Nothing is true.”
Sella, a specialist climber, put in an excellent performance in May’s Giro, powering home in the mountainous 14th, 15th and penultimate stages, to place sixth in the overall standings.
But it was that strong showing — together with high finishes from teammates Fortunato Baliani (seventh) and Domenico Pozzovivo (12th) — that raised the suspicions of doping officials.
Sella’s countryman Ricardo Riccò was kicked out of the Tour de France and sacked by his team for failing a drugs test, also for EPO.