June 14, 2007
Petacchi, Piepoli, Mayo "non-negative" at Giro
Giro organizers reported earlier this week that 2 Italians and a Spaniard had “non-negative” dope tests at the Italian grand tour last month. Today, Gazzetta dello Sport reports the riders are Alessandro Petacchi, Leonardo Piepoli, and Iban Mayo.
All three won stages, with Petacchi winning 5. Milram's Petacchi and Saunier Duval's Piepoli reportedly tested above the allowed threshold for asthma medication salbutamol, while Mayo, also riding for Saunier Duval, reportedly tested above the limit for testosterone.
Petacchi and Piepoli both carry medical clearances to use salbutamol, and Mayo reportedly has a high natural testosterone level. Officials must consider possible clearances and exemptions, and the rider's “B” sample, before calling the test results a positive and beginning any possible disciplinary measures.
Update: VeloNews offers a translation of Piepoli's comments:
"It's true that I take Salbutamol to treat my allergy.
"Mauro (Gianetti) asked me how much I had taken. But I don't know how many puffs I took. I take it each time I need it. It depends on the seasons."
Update 2: Mayo has been cleared: The UCI says an IRMS test ruled out “any possibility of testosterone administration.”
If the reports are true, they bring to mind the case of Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano. He showed a high salbutamol level in the 2002 Tour, but wasn't punished. CyclingForums.com had a good discussion of the threshold values for salbutamol in 2003. In the Gonzalez de Galdeano case, the UCI ruled that they had no upper limit on salbutamol concentration, while representatives of the (then-new) World Anti-Doping Agency maintained that 1000 nanograms/milliliter was the maximum permissible level. Petacchi reportedly showed salbutamol levels of 1200 and 1400 nanograms per milliliter.
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At least none of the winners who popped positive were Americans...
Sorry, that was bitter.
Posted by: jank at Jun 14, 2007 9:40:59 AM
A whole lot of asthma and tennis-ball-sized he-man testicles going around, it seems...
Posted by: ewmayer at Jun 14, 2007 2:08:52 PM