LAUSANNE, June 03, 2013 (AFP) – Italian cyclist Mauro Santambrogio tested
positive for EPO during last month’s Giro d’Italia, the International Cycling
Union (UCI) said Monday.
The 28-year-old finished ninth overall on the Giro and won the 14th stage
but tested positive for the banned blood-booster on the opening stage on May 4.
He thus becomes the second Vini Fantini rider in the space of 10 days to
test positive for EPO after former Giro winner Danilo Di Luca was thrown off
the race on May 24 for having also tested positive in an out of competition
test before the Giro began.
Santambrogio has been provisionally suspended by the UCI until the Italian
Cycling Federation takes a decision on the case.
He was twice previously under the microscope during his BMC days having
been mentioned in a doping inquiry related to his Lampre days, although no
action was taken against him.
Vini Fantini boss Luca Scinto was left devastated by the news and said it
could bring down the second-division team, who only competed at the Giro on an
“Everything’s finished, the whole project is finished,” he told
“What do you want me to tell you, I’m distraught, I’m ruined. I defended
him like no other rider before because from (the Giro start in) Naples there
were awful rumors about him going around the peloton.
“I didn’t want to believe them and on more than one occasion I had a
face-to-face with him.
“He told me: ‘It’s only jealousy Luca, calm down. But you can’t keep asking
me these questions because they’re offensive’.
“What can I say? We’re distraught, myself and Angelo (Citracca, the team
manager) because we know perfectly well it’s a mortal blow.”
Santambrogio had been enjoying a great season having finished seventh at
the Tirreno-Adriatico, second at the Tour of Trentino and won the Larciano GP.