T-Mobile rider Lorenzo Bernucci of Italy has been fired from the squad after returning a positive ?A? test for the substance silbutramine.
Bernucci was riding the Tour of Spain when news of the positive test for the substance – banned by WADA and which can incur a maximum penalty of one year from the UCI – broke. He was lying 21st overall at the time and did not start Tuesday’s stage four.
27 years old, Bernucci?s top career win came in the Tour in 2005, when he took stage six in a downpour after several of the favourites had crashed. the Italian then joined the T-Mobile squad in 2006.
Bernucci claimed he did not know that the substance, which has the brand name Ectiva, had been added to the WADA list of banned products. He had been using it to keep his weight down. In Italy, Ectiva apparently is only available with written authorization from a doctor.
After German Patrik Sinkewitz tested positve this summer for banned substance testosterone, T-Mobile announced a period of reflection before confirming their continuing sponsorship of the squad.
In more bad news for German cycling on Tuesday, another ProTour squad, Gerolsteiner, confirmed they would be quitting at the end of 2008.