By VeloNews Interactive Wire Services, Copyright AFP 2001
Disgraced Italian rider Sergio Barbero was unceremoniously ejected from the Giro d’Italia by his Lampre team prior to the start of the 12th stage in Gradisca d’Isonzo on May 31; the move followed the announcement that he was one of the two riders who tested positive for EPO (erythropoietin) during the Tour of Romandy at the start of May.
Lampre general manager Giuseppe Saronni said he told Barbero not to turn up at the start line, although he could still have officially taken part in the race.
“We asked him not to turn up for the day’s stage,” Saronni said. “He asked for a second sample to be tested and he could have continued riding, but we decided in the best interests of the team not to allow that.”
The 32-year-old Barbero, who turned pro in 1992, is a teammate of Italian Giro co-favourite Gilberto Simoni, who sits fourth in the overall standings.
The other positive doping result is from an as-yet unnamed French rider who rides for a non-French team.
Two other riders, Dane Bo Hamburger of CSC and Swiss Roland Meier of Team Coast, tested positive for EPO this season, during a random test the day after the Fleche Wallonne one-day classic on April 19.
Professional riders have been subject to EPO testing since the start of April – when the International Cycling Union (UCI) introduced the French-invented EPO detection test for urine samples.
Copyright AFP 2001