The Russian Katusha team has picked up Giampaolo Caruso for the remainder of the 2010 season, with an option for next year.
Caruso, 29, was racing with Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce this season but is expected to start the Giro d’Italia for Katusha.
“Caruso is a good climber,” said Katusha manager Andrei Tchmil. “We think he can do well in the Giro and we hope he can gain a good spot in the GC.”
Caruso turned pro with ONCE (later Liberty Seguros) in 2002 and his name was connected to the Operación Puerto doping scandal in 2006. Italian authorities tried to impose a two-year racing ban, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport over-turned the suspension in 2009.
He returned to racing with Flaminia last season, where he won the Brixia Tour, third in the Route du Sud and seventh in the Tour of Austria. Caruso had reached an initial agreement to ride for the LPR team, but when that deal fell through he signed with Flamina.
Caruso’s contract with Flamina was to last through 2011, but the team agreed to release him when the Katusha offer came through.
The move will give Katusha will a GC option for the season’s first grand tour at the Giro d’Italia.