Lampre: Second blood test in three days

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01.02.2008/ Italian Pro-Tour team Lampre was tested two times in three days by the anti-doping authorities of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). On Monday the team was tested until 3.40 am, yesterday the control took place at 7.30 am. Lampre is currently training in San Vincenzo (Italy).

© Heinz Zwicky
Paxti Villa was tested by CONI as well ( Heinz Zwicky)

Italian media speculated that Italian Pro-Tour team Lampre might have been tested twice after CONI received information that there was something wrong with the whereabouts of its captain, Damiano Cunego.

Earlier this week seven Lampre riders were tested in the middle of the night. CONI knocked on the door at 11.15 pm, a hotel employee confirmed that CONI tested during the night hours. Cunego, Ballan, Marzano, Vila, Szmyd, Bruseghin and Tiralongo had to give an urine- and blood sample. At 3.40 am Tiralongo was the last rider who could go to bed.  Amedeo Colombo, president of the Italian Organisation for professional riders, ACCPI said in a reaction that testing in the middle of the night is showing a "lack of respect" for the athletes. Damiano Cunego said: "There is nothing wrong with doping controls but don't they have enough time for that during the day?"

CONI said it came at 10 pm to the hotel but could start taking samples as the athletes were in a restaurant nereby. According to Italian based website the state prosecution of Rome and CONI work together on the 'Oil for Drugs case, Puerto and a third case. In this case Damiano Cunego und Alessandro Ballan could be involved. The state prosecution of Rome asked the Italian Anti-Doping Agency (NAS) to carry out the tests and carry them out of night. According to Tuttobici the state prosecution received information that small amount of epo and other substances can't be found if they are taken at night time. 

On January 31 most Lampre riders who take part in the training camp were tested again, this time at 07:30 am, only Sylvester Smydz wasn't tested for a second time in three days.

© Cyclingheroes
Damiano Cunego ( Cyclingheroes)

Several Italian media said that there was also something wrong with the whereabouts of some of the riders. Damiano Cunego issued a statement in which he says that he gave "all information" about his whereabouts "to the international anti-doping authorities" [meaning the ADAMS system,editor] and that this should also apply for Italy. Cunego said that he did not receive a letter from Italian anti-doping authorites like he received last year. 

Cunego concluded his statement saying: "Finally, I think they have raised a fuss based on a problem that does not exist, because I have actually communicated my availability and have played regularly.  As soon as I will be notified of the letter of request for the current year by the FCI [Italian Cycling Federation, editor], it will be my concern as always continue to submit my availability in addition to international bodies including those National."





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