Italian sprinter Davide Appollonio will appear before a court in Lucca on March 18, charged by his former team, Androni-Sidermec, for failing a drugs test.
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When Fabio Taborre tested positive for a developmental blood booster just days later, the team was suspended from racing by the UCI for 30 days under its new anti-doping rules.
The team failed in its bid to overturn the suspension, despite the UCI announcing the decision on October 31 – a full two months after the team returned to racing.
Team manager Gianni Savio insisted that the two riders would be prosecuted by the team and its riders for what he calls ‘criminal behaviour’, and claimed that he was forced to prove the unprovable in order to overturn the suspension.
“The decision to dismiss the appeal,” Savio is quoted as saying in Gazzetta dello Sport, “cannot be interpreted as a statement that the team would not take reasonably adequate measures to prevent violations.”
He added: “The decision to dismiss the appeal cannot be construed as a finding of involvement of one or more members of the team. However, without having moved any allegation against us, the Commission has reached a decision different from what would be expected. In conclusion we would have had to prove the unprovable.”
Taborre will face a court in Turin on March 22, with both cases being a first for cycling, as all the members of a team come together to take action against their former teammates.