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Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Thursday, 27 May 2010 18:34 UK

Italian cyclist banned over biological passport

cycling

The first ban based on discrepancies in a cyclist's biological passport has been handed out to an Italian rider.

Francesco De Bonis, 28, was suspended for two years by the Italian Olympic Committee after a request from the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Cycling has been harmed by a number of doping scandals in recent years.

Biological passports were introduced in 2008 and are an electronic record of a cyclist's chemical levels based on regular blood and urine tests.

Since they were introduced eight riders have recorded abnormal blood profiles but De Bonis is the first to be banned.

One of the favourites for this year's Giro d'Italia race, Franco Pellizotti, was forced to withdraw after his biological passport suggested discrepancies but his case is still under review.

In a statement issued on Thursday the governing body said: "The UCI emphasises the historic importance of this first judgement under the scope of the biological passport programme, introduced by the UCI in 2008."

The UCI also announced a two-year ban for Spanish rider Antonio Colom Mas, although that is thought to be unconnected to his biological passport.

More than 850 professional cyclists have joined the £4m project, created with the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Each rider has been required to submit a series of blood and urine samples that is used to devise an individual's body chemistry profile at a laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland.



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see also
Go-ahead for anti-drugs passports
13 Jun 08 |  Cycling
Cycling rocked by new dope probe
03 May 10 |  Cycling


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