Italian jazz musician Gigi Cifarelli, aged 59, is banned from competitive cycling for four years after testing positive at an amateur race


It’s only mid-January but we’ve already got a contender for the strangest cycling story of the year, involving an Italian jazz guitarist and a doping ban.

Luigi ‘Gigi’ Cifarelli, 59, has an “unbridled passion for cycling” according to Gazzetta dello Sport and took his love of the pursuit one step further by taking performance enhancing drugs ahead of an amateur race.

As reported by Gazzetta on Tuesday, the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) handed Cifarelli a four-year ban after he tested positive at the Grand Prix Dell’Uva Fragola-Suno – an amateur race – on August 20.

Having been provisionally suspended since August, his ban runs from January 18, 2016, to November 17, 2019, according to the notice on the CONI website. But will he attempt a comeback aged 63?

Cifarelli was also ordered to pay €378 in legal fees associated with the case. He’s not released an album since 2009, according to Wikipedia, so with all this spare time on his hands he’ll be able to get working on some new tracks to pay off his dues.

  • Brendan Power

    He hardly has an “unbridled passion” for cycling if he resorts to drugs.

  • Nomad

    I don’t know…but keep eye on the Danielson case. He’s appealing but if found liable for intentionally using T, he’s facing a lifetime ban.

  • Nomad

    Nowhere does it say what banned substance he tested positive for? Steriods? EPO? Testeterone? (checked other sites also). I’m an over 50 amateur competitor and I’ve “heard” the big thing with some senior athletes is Testesterone replacement therapy (thru their doctor). I think its cool seniors want to compete but they need to play by the rules (absent a TUE). If he wants to take PEDs, he should do non-competitive events or club cycling. This doesn’t set a good example for the amateur youngsters out there who maybe want to go pro.

  • Tom Knoblauch

    nice NASA tie

  • skelto99

    Four years, eh? That’s made an example of him, bringing cycling into disrepute. What’s the chances of them applying the same penalty to the next pro who transgresses? Mmmm, nice….

  • Martin P. Hoff

    What dope was he jazzed up on?

  • Jay Kay

    I always thought people who ‘appreciate jazz’ must be on something…

  • ummm…

    did he win the race?