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Piepoli Positive: Tour de France

D_medium Leonardo Piepoli tested positive for CERA twice at the 2008 Tour de France, reports the Italian press today. The climber from Pugliese returned positive tests on both 4 and 15 July. According to the reports, the AFLD lab at Chatenay-Malabry carried out the testing. The positive test came as a result of new, more thorough testing for CERA, now on-going in France and Switzerland, and which could result in more positives before long. CONI, who announced the news, has called Piepoli for a hearing on Friday, 10 October.

Piepoli may also face criminal charges in Italy. Under questioning by Etorre Torri at CONI, Piepoli denied having used doping and claimed that Saunier Duval fired him for his failure to keep tabs on his team-mate Riccardo Riccò. Speculation simmers over whether he will be charged with offering false testimony in the case.

Piepoli counts 32 victories in his career, including stages in the Giro and Vuelta last season. This season, he won the tenth stage of the Tour de France, which finished on the Hautacam. His team, Saunier Duval, where he has ridden since 2004, fired him shortly after, following the positive test of Riccardo Riccò, also for CERA.

Sources: and Gazzetta dello Sport.

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