Petacchi suspended by Milram

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28.06.2007/ On Monday Alessandro Petacchi will be heard by the Italian anti-doping authorities after the UCI confirmed that the Italian sprinter has tested "non-negative" for salbutamol. Petacchi protested his innocence but the commercial manager of Petacchi's Milram team, Gerry van Gerwen said Pettachi will not race for the team as long as the investigation is ongoing.

Copyright Heinz Zwicky
Petacchi: No bubbles in France? (picture: Heinz Zwicky,

The International Cycling Union (UCI) have confirmed to anti-doping authorities of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) that Alessandro Pettachi (Milram) had tested for salbutamol during this years Giro d'Italia.

The 33 year old Milram sprinter was tested non-negative, which is the official language for a test result, when a substance is detected which can be explained by an athlete with a medical certificate.

Petacchi has a medical certificate which allows him to take a certain amount of salbutamol in his asthma inhalers and insists that any overuse might have been caused by inhaling one spray more.

Petacchi told Italian daily sports Gazzetta dello Sport: "What can I do to demonstrate my good faith?" Ale-Jet continued by saying: "Why would I have done something different from other times? I have the responsibility of the team [Milram] on my shoulders, with sponsors that are always speaking against doping."

Petacchi concluded: "Yes, I may have done one spray more, but I have done nothing illegal. I don't want to miss the Tour [de France]."

Petacchi is suspended by team Milram as long as the investigation is ongoing. The commercial manager of the Milram team, Gerry van Gerwen told Belgian daily sports sportwereld: "It's simple. We stick with the ethical code of the pro-tour teams." Van Gerwen added: That means that Petacchi will not be in action als long as the investigation continues. On Monday Coni will interrogate specialists and Alessandro himself. Then will be clear if he did something illegal. If CONI gives its ok, then Petacchi will be allowed to race again. If he stays under suspicion than we will keep him out of the Tour."

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