Italy cycling team head arrested in doping investigation


Image copyright

Image caption

Doping scandals have overshadowed some major cycling competitions

Italian police have arrested the head of a top amateur cycling team and several associates suspected of giving cyclists performance-enhancing drugs.

Police raids took place in Lucca and elsewhere in Tuscany, media report.

Luca Franceschi – owner of Altopack-Eppella – and five other top team officials are under house arrest.

The sudden death of a young Lithuanian cyclist last May – 21-year-old Linas Rumsas – raised suspicions. He had been among the top racers in Italy.

Rumsas’s parents Raimondas and Edita had been investigated for alleged doping in 2003.

In that year Raimondas, a professional cyclist, was suspended for a year after testing positive for the banned drug EPO in the Giro d’Italia.

Image copyright

Image caption

Raimondas Rumsas (R) is seen here next to American Lance Armstrong in the 2002 Tour de France

Police said Mr Franceschi had “recruited the most promising cyclists, encouraged them to take drugs and procured the doping substances for them, including EPO in microdoses”.

Police also allege that Mr Franceschi’s parents – Narciso and Maria Luisa – hosted team cyclists in their home after races and let them inject drugs there.

Besides EPO, performance-enhancing growth hormones and painkillers were also allegedly administered.

Police found 25 vials of EPO in a fridge when they raided the home of Michele Viola, one of the team’s trainers.

Altopack’s sports director Elso Frediani and a pharmacist, Andrea Bianchi, are the other suspects under house arrest. Lucca police are also investigating 17 others.

Police searches also took place in Pistoia, Livorno and Bergamo provinces.

Source link

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Four fans ejected from United Center for racist comments toward Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly
Patriots’ needs on defense extend beyond just the pass rush – New England Patriots Blog
Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly calls racial taunts disgusting
Can Florida State Seminoles’ Cam Akers run for 2,000 yards? – ACC Blog
Site of Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford moving to Mandalay Bay

Leave a Reply