Danilo Di Luca (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) has failed an out-of-competion test for banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

According to Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, he tested positive for EPO ahead of the Giro d’Italia on April 29. The Italian, who has been linked to other doping scandals in the past, previously failed a test for EPO in 2009.

“Di Luca is an idiot, and I never wanted him [in the team],” sports director, Luca Scinto told the Italian sports daily.

Di Luca, 37, failed the pre-Giro doping test five days before the race rolled out of Naples. In the race, has been very active in stage finals, but failed to attack like in the past. As of yesterday, after the Polsa stage 18 time trial, he sat 26th overall at 33-33 minutes back.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirmed the positive test on Friday morning: “This morning the UCI advised Italian rider Danilo Di Luca that he is provisionally suspended. The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Köln indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from him in an out of competition test on 29 April 2013,” said a UCI statement. Di Luca has the right to request that his B sample is tested.

Prior to failing a test for EPO-CERA in 2009, Di Luca won several classics, including Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the 2007 Giro d’Italia.

In 2009, he won two stages of the Giro d’Italia and placed second overall behind Denis Menchov. Two months later, he was caught using the super form of erythropoietin, EPO-CERA.

Other scandals dogged him.

As part of the 2004 Oil for Drugs investigation, police documents showed he used EPO. Three years later, in 2007, he received a three-month ban.

On the way to his 2007 Giro win, his urine tests were suspiciously clean with hormone levels of a small child. It was called pipì degli angeli or angels’ pee. A prosecutor argued the abnormal reading was due to an illegal intravenous drip during the race. He was able to keep his Giro win because “there was not a sufficient degree of probability” in the test results.

Di Luca or ‘The Killer’ returned, however.

Team Katusha signed him after he served his doping ban stemming from the 2009 postive. He won very little and was unable to continue in the first division.

Vini Fantini only agreed to sign him right before this year’s Giro as part of a new sponsorship deal. The team, as Scinto said, are now regretting its move.

Related links

January 2011: Di Luca to ride for Katusha for free

December 2010: Di Luca admits doping mistakes

October 2010: Di Luca ready to return, doping ban reduced

July 2009: Di Luca positive for EPO at Giro

  • TonyM

    Hope his Team sue the arse off him!

  • Ken Evans

    “As of yesterday, after the Polsa stage 18 time trial, he sat 26th overall at 33-33 minutes back.”—-He should have taken more dope !

  • ian franklin

    Serial doper Di Luca’s bike brand is called Kyklos. I’m hoping that we can organise a worldwide boycott of his brand and thus ram the message home that doping, under any circumstances, is not acceptable. Join in! Post this idea on websites! It is also not acceptable to call clean riders ‘dopers’ when you have no idea whether they are or not.

  • liz newbery

    of course the only solution is a lifetime ban. How many more times will doping offences be repeated indicating the ludicrous and inconsistent penalty system does not work?
    Fairness, transparency and zero tolerance are the only way forward.

  • Russell Williams

    What an idiot! He is the killer alright, he kills sponsors, fans and up and coming potential riders enthusiasm for our great sport. Apart from a lifelong ban and huge fines, he should have ALL of his past wins taken from him. He’s obviously a serial cheater.

  • binghammer

    Oh, no! Can’t they swop bikes for skiis
    and get on with it? As for Danni boy, surely it’s a life-time ban this time, after testing positive yet again.

  • Ian Essex

    Di Luca should be banned for life and if it was possible he should also be heavily fined and face a prison sentence. Guys like him are helping to destroy the image of cycle racing and until the most severe penalties are imposed they will still continue to taint the image of cycle racing at all levels.
    Even a life ban alone may not deter them, as they may already have made a fortune from there ill gotten gains.

  • Mark Ford

    Surely the deterrent here is life bans lets get rid of these cheats once and for all

  • TG

    Do these people ever learn?!!!

  • ted hutton

    di luca 2004 2009 2013 when are the so called anti drug agencies going to get real about

    this farce we had east german athletes chinese weight lifters and swimmers is sport of any sort

    worth watching nowadays will it be genuine I have my doubts sadly

  • Herbie

    Another star I used to admire, but not since 2009 – this just insults us all – what an idiot Di Luca is!!

  • Richard

    It would have been more of a shock to find out he was riding clean!

  • Colnago dave

    As Scinto said he is not right in the head if he thinks he can beat the testing especially after the tests he has failed, the dodgy Angel’s pee readings etc.
    Personally I woud recommend commitment to a Lunatic Asalyum, but maybe that is unfair on the genuinely ill.
    Guys like him put back all the work done by Clean teams and riders a million fold. Also has he influenced any of the stage results by being suoercharged.
    I know if I was a team mate or another rider who became unemployed due to the sponsor saying enough is enough I would seek redress through the courts.

  • ian franklin

    Yes, an utter and complete idiot. What a shame that a minority are still doing this stuff. It gives the nutters on some forums plenty of ammunition which, sadly, they aim at innocent riders.

  • Andy Readers

    Cycling has to man-up and get tough on these CHEATS.
    ONLY a life time ban will get rid of ALL these GRETENS!

  • AlanR

    Now go away you horrible man