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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright AFP2002
Italian cyclist Gilberto Simoni has been given the green light to start competing again after being cleared of doping offences, cycling officials in Rome said Saturday.
Simoni twice tested positive for cocaine earlier this year and was hit with a suspension while an Italian Cycling Federation disciplinary commission investigated the case.
The Saeco rider and 2001 Tour of Italy winner claimed that the first positive test on April 24 was the result of an injection given by his dentist.
The second test on May 21 apparently arose after Simoni consumed cough sweets for a sore throat. The sweets were manufactured in Peru and were found to contain faint traces of cocaine, according to Italian officials.
Saeco announced Simoni would make an “immediate return” to competition, starting with an appearance in Hamburg on August 4 for the sixth round of the World Cup. Simoni, 30, then plans to take part in the Camaiore Grand Prix on August 7, with the ultimate goal of participating in the Tour of Spain.
The Saeco was thrown out of this year’s Tour de France following the Simoni case, its invitation being withdrawn by race officials anxious to clean up the event’s image.
Related Links:May 22 – Simoni:trip to dentist triggered cocaine positive
May 23 – Giro:Simoni gets some satisfaction
May 23 – PressRelease: Saeco-Longoni Sport – May 23, 2002
May 24 – Simonigets heave-ho as Giro tries to find its feet
May 24 – SaecoPress release – Friday, May 24, 2002 – On the matter of Gilberto Simoni
July 27 – SaecoPress Release – Re: Simoni