Italian rider Franco Pellizotti has been served a two-year suspension from competition after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld an appeal by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) against the quashing of Pellizotti’s ban by the
Italian anti-doping tribunal
Pellizotti’s suspension will run until May 2012. CAS also threw out an appeal by Italian rider Pietro Caucchioli against a two-year suspension.
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The UCI confirmed in May last year that Pellizotti would be subject to a disciplinary hearing based on adverse blood values as part of its biological passport anti-doping programme. Erratic or unexpected changes in the make-up of an athlete’s blood can indicate the use of doping or blood transfusions, particularly over a sustained period.
CAS’s decision to uphold the UCI’s appeal against the acquittal of Pellizotti confirms the organisation’s faith in the UCI’s controversial biological passport system. If CAS had thrown out the UCI’s appeal, it would have been a major setback for the UCI’s anti-doping initiative.
Pellizotti won the Tour de France King of the Mountains title in the 2009 Tour de France, and placed third in the 2009 Giro d’Italia for the Liquigas team – the Giro result was later changed to second after Danilo Di Luca was charged with doping offences.
October 2010: Pellizotti acquitted by Italian Olympic Committee
Pellizotti out of the Giro due to biological passport findings
Pellizotti faces two year ban for bio passport anomaly
Pellizotti questions biological passport methods