Bernucci sacked by T-Mobile after testing positive

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04.09.2007/ The T-Mobile Team last night terminated Lorenzo Bernucci upon notice from the UCI of his A-sample positive test for "Sibutramine" and a subsequent discussion with team management which determined a code of conduct violation had occurred. Bernucci was tested at the Tour of Germany on 15 August 2007 (Längfeld - Kufstein). "Sibutramine" is a non-amphetamine appetite suppressant sold under various brand names including "Reductil" and "Ectiva".

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Lorenzo Bernucci tested positive at the Tour of Germany (picture: Cyclingheroes)

Bernucci was removed from the team roster at the Vuelta de Espana after Monday’s Stage 3. Bernucci, a resident of Monaco, holds a racing license from the Monaco Cycling Federation who will be responsible for further investigating the incident and for determining additional sanctions.

Upon learning of the positive test, Bernucci told the team management that he had been taking "Ectiva", purchased over the counter at a pharmacy in Italy, in order to suppress his appetite. He reportedly used the product for four years and did not understand the product was added to the WADA list of prohibited substances last year.

According to UCI rules a first violation for Sibutramine, if it is determined that it was not intended to enhance sport performance, can result, at a minimum, in a warning and no racing suspension, and at a maximum, a one year suspension.

"We do not know if this was an attempt at performance enhancement or just poor judgment. But we know it is unacceptable that riders take any medication without the approval of the team doctor. It’s a clear violation of our code of conduct and we act now on that basis”, said team general manager Bob Stapleton.

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