Cyclist Danilo Di Luca Busted for Doping

Lance Armstrong asks if he's 'f—ing stupid'

Danilo Di Luca again tested positive for EPO.     Photo: Pitert

Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca, who is currently racing at the Giro d'Italia, has been suspended and fired by his team after testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test administered ahead of the race. Di Luca, who won the event in 2007, has a long history of doping and was unwelcome at the 2013 Giro by many in the press.

Di Luca's known doping history dates back to 2007. His test samples from the 2007 Giro were classified as suspicious, but he was granted a last-minute reprieve by the Italian Olympic Committee. Later that season, he was implicated in the Oil for Drugs scandal, earning himself a three-month suspension. In 2009, he twice tested positive for CERA, a new class of EPO-like-drug, and was suspended for a short 15 months after cooperating with anti-doping authorities.

On Twitter, riders were quick to criticize Di Luca, including Lance Armstrong who wrote: "Knowing I have 0 cred on the doping issue – I still can’t help but think, ‘really Di Luca? Are you that f—ing stupid??’"

Di Luca was a last-minute entry into this year's Giro. According to a press release, his team manager, Angelo Citracca, didn't want the disgraced rider on his squad, but "our main sponsor Valentino Sciotti, who out of friendship and regional ties to the rider, insisted upon and created the conditions for his addition to the roster."

Sciotti told CyclingNews that he regretted taking on Di Luca. "I wanted and believed in the man and the rider, and it’s only right that I take all the blame because I made a mistake. Maybe I made a mistake in believing that someone can redeem themselves after an error and not make one again. Maybe I made a mistake in wanting to help someone who I saw in difficulty."

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