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Simoni: trip to dentist triggered cocaine positive

Italian cycling suffered a second major blow Wednesday when it was revealed defending Giro d'Italia champion Gilberto Simoni had failed a drug test for cocaine earlier this season. Speaking to reporters before the start of the 10th stage of the Giro Wednesday, Simoni claimed Wednesday he had tested positive for cocaine because of a visit to the dentist. The 30-year-old will be allowed to continue to compete in the Giro after the UCI ruled that the test did not affect his performances in the race. Simoni tested positive on April 24 during the Tour of Trentino. Simoni, who is eighth in the

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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2002

Italian cycling suffered a second major blow Wednesday when it was revealed defending Giro d’Italia champion Gilberto Simoni had failed a drug test for cocaine earlier this season.

Speaking to reporters before the start of the 10th stage of the Giro Wednesday, Simoni claimed Wednesday he had tested positive for cocaine because of a visit to the dentist.

The 30-year-old will be allowed to continue to compete in the Giro after the UCI ruled that the test did not affect his performances in the race. Simoni tested positive on April 24 during the Tour of Trentino.

Simoni, who is eighth in the overall standings, said a dentist had given him an injection which must have contained the cocaine. “I went to the dentist that day and he gave me an injection but I did not ask him what products were in it.” “When I left him I went to see my aunt and on returning to my hotel I was confronted by two people from the World Anti-Doping Agency,” he said.

Claudio Corti, president of Simoni’s Saeco outfit, said that he had every faith in the team leader. The UCI said that it was up to the Italian federation to decide on Simoni’s fate which will probably be after the Giro has finished. It is the second major blow to Italian cycling in a week after Stefano Garzelli tested positive for the banned diuretic Probenecid after the second stage and was ejected from the race on Tuesday. Simoni had criticized Garzelli, characterizing the offense as a serious blow to the race and cycling in general.