Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r) and Jesus Rosendo (Andalucia-Cajasur) will all be subject to disciplinary hearings due to biological passport anomalies, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced on Monday afternoon.
The brief statement issued by the UCI said:
“After having informed all the parties concerned… the International Cycling Union announces that disciplinary procedures have been requested against the following riders for apparent violation of the Anti-Doping Rules on the basis of the information provided by the blood profiles in their biological passports: Franco Pellizotti, Tadej Valjavec and Jesus Rosendo.”
The statement confirmed 2009 Tour de France king of the mountains Pellizotti’s impending disciplinary hearing, as reported earlier on Monday. The Italian has been dropped from the Giro d’Italia roster by his Liquigas team.
Pellizotti finished third in last year’s Giro, a result later revised to second when Danilo Di Luca tested positive for EPO at the event.
Both Valjavec and Rosendo are also known as climbers. Slovenian Valjavec finished ninth overall in the 2009 Giro, and Spaniard Rosendo had a stint in the king of the mountains jersey in the 2008 Vuelta a Espana.
The UCI’s biological passport system keeps track of every top-level rider’s blood and urine values to track any unexpected peaks in, for example, hormone or red blood cell levels which may indicate the use of banned doping products over a long period of time that are not directly picked up by anti-doping tests.
According to Italian paper La Gazetta dello Sport, a number of riders were under investigation for anomalies in their biological passports - one Russian, two Spaniards, one Slovenian and two Italians. If that is correct, it leaves a Russian, a Spaniard and an Italian to be named.