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Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
UCI wants Pantani ban re-instated
Marco Pantani
Marco Pantani's future hangs in the balance
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has urged the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reverse a decision to lift an eight-month ban on Italian cyclist Marco Pantani.

The former Tour de France winner was originally suspended for using the prohibited substance insulin during last year's Tour of Italy.

A disciplinary commission of the Italian Cycling Federation had imposed the punishment on 1 July, but its appeals panel later lifted the ban.

  Pantani career highs and lows
1992: Makes professional cycling debut
1995: Wins bronze at world championships
1998: Wins Giro d'Italia and Tour de France
1999: Disqualified while leading the Giro after failing drugs test
2000: Wins two stages of Tour De France
Later banned for six months for drugs use
2002, June: Banned for eight months for using insulin
2002, July: Wins appeal against suspension

President of the commission, Luigi Renga, said at the time: "There was no certain evidence against Pantani, only assumptions."

However, the UCI is unhappy with that assessment and has lodged a protest to repeal the 13 July decision.

Pantani was investigated after an insulin-filled syringe was found in his hotel room, although he maintained that the insulin was not his.

Insulin, commonly used by diabetics, also aids the circulation of growth hormones, which can build muscle mass and increase endurance.

The 32-year-old Pantani - nicknamed the Pirate for his shaven head, bandana and hooped earrings - won both the Giro and Tour in 1998.

But he was ejected from the Giro in 1999 after failing a random blood test.

His last major win came in the stage to French ski resort Courchevel in the 2000 Tour de France

He quit this year's Giro and his Mercatone Uno team was not invited to compete in the Tour.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Ashish Sharma
"The reason behind this isn't clear"
See also:

02 May 02 | Cycling
03 Jul 02 | Cycling
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