Italian riders demand life bans for drug cheats

Tougher action required on dopers

The Association of Italian racing cyclists (ACCPI) which represents more than 250 professional riders want the International Cycling Union (UCI) to press for more severe sanctions.

Rocked by recent drug test failures of Tour de France riders, the ACCPI insists tougher action is required while also making an effort to encourage whistleblowers back into the fold.

"The situation has now become so serious that only with extreme measures can we have any hope of giving credibility back to our beloved sport and - even more importantly for us - to our cyclists," said ACCPI president Amedeo Colombo in a letter to UCI chief Pat McQuaid.

"The positive tests of (Ricardo) Ricco, (Emanuele) Sella, (Leonardo) Piepoli, (Stefan) Schumacher, and (Bernhard) Khol are damaging, even more so because they are winning cyclists.

"Their conduct fuels the fires of those who unjustly sustain that the only way to win cycling races nowadays is by means of doping."

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