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Daily Dope: Paolini and Oil for Drugs

The Italian anti-doping authorities have called Luca Paolini for a hearing on 28 April. The Acqua e Sapone rider is allegedly named in the Oil for Drugs investigation. The district attorney in Bergamo is prosecuting the case on the criminal side, and Italian law allows for cooperation and evidence sharing between anti-doping and criminal authorities.

The Oil for Drugs case centers on the activities of Dr. Santuccione and friends. Santuccione received a lifetime ban from working in cycling, but has continued to serve as the supplier of choice for many Italian riders. Evidence from the Oil for Drugs case gave Danilo Diluca a three month vacation from racing and made him persona non grata at major races outside Italy. More recently, Riccardo Riccò named Santuccione as his supplier after testing positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. Riccò received a six month ban for his involvement with the banned doctor, though TAS later shorted his sanction.

According to a press report late last year, riders frequently wore women’s clothing to avoid being recognized during their trips to Santuccione’s lair in Abruzzo. (Oh, Photoshop, why must you cost so much?) One wonders what color frock Paolini favored, if it turns out he has been consorting with Santuccione. Perhaps he’ll model his favorite at the upcoming hearing.

— Source,

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