Italian sprint king Alessandro Petacchi admitted on Tuesday that the wait to find out if a doping appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will go against him or not is frustrating.
Petacchi continues to ride while the case is in court and won two stages at the Tour of Turkey recently. But he admitted the doping case is getting to him.
Petacchi returned a non negative test for elevated levels of salbutamol last season. It's a drug used by asthma sufferers and Petacchi has clearance to take it.
The Italian Cycling Federation cleared him of wrong-doing, putting the non-negative result down to human error, but the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) took the case to CAS and asked that he be banned for two years.
"I'm trying to think only about the Giro d'Italia but the wait for the decision of the court is on my mind," he said. "Anything could happen, I could even lose the desire to compete in the Giro or in the Tour de France, which I haven't been to since 2004.
"I'm trying not to imagine that everything will turn out well because the disappointment would be huge if I got an unfavourable decision," he admitted.
Petacchi is one of the winningest sprinters of all time, having won 24 Giro stages, including an incredible nine in 2004 alone. He has also enjoyed more than 150 wins during his career.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008