By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002
Thirteen Italian cyclists have been effectively cleared to compete in the Giro d’Italia after the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) disciplinary commission decided not to impose bans that would prevent them from taking part, Italy’s ANSA news agency reported Monday.
All 13 riders were among those implicated in last year’s Giro doping scandal but only Giuseppe Di Grande was suspended, earning a six-month ban but one that is academic as the rider had already served that term.
Five riders have had the cases dismissed while the disciplinary commission has asked for more information regarding the other seven before pronouncing their verdict. Any new case against those seven would thus take place after the race, allowing the affected competitors to compete. Italian police found a range of doping substances when they raided hotel rooms during last year’s Giro.
Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping tsar Giacomo Aiello had demanded bans between six months and four and a half years on the 13 when handing the case over to the FCI. Meanwhile, Marco Pantani’s scheduled appearance before CONI’ anti-doping panel has been delayed until April 29, a CONI spokesman announced Monday.
The 1998 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France winner was originally scheduled to appear before the CONI panel on Wednesday but no reason was given for the delay.