By Nigel Wynn
Danilo Di Luca attended a hearing on Wednesday held by the the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) after he tested positive for banned blood-boosting drug CERA during this year's Giro d'Italia.
Di Luca faces a grilling from CONI's anti-doping prosecutor over two failed tests for CERA - a new form of EPO - during the Italian grand tour in May.
The diminutive Italian came second overall in the 2009 Giro behind Denis Menchov, along the way he won two stages.
At present, the LPR Brakes rider is suspended from competition pending investigation into the positive test results.
It's not the first time that Di Luca has been involved in a doping scandal. In 2008, Di Luca faced a disciplinary hearing after being accused of manipulating his blood, for which he was subsequently cleared due to lack of clear evidence. He was also subject to investigation in 2007 - the year he won the Giro - relating to the 'oil for drugs' scandal, and was suspended for three months during the case.
Since he has served a previous suspension related to doping, Di Luca could face a ban from competition of up to four years as a repeat offender. As he is now 33 years old, this would effectively end his professional career.
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