LPR's Gabriele Bosisio suspended for EPO

Former Giro leader in hot water

Italian cyclist Gabriele Bosisio of the LPR team has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for the banned blood-booster EPO, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced Tuesday.

The 29-year-old was caught out by a suprise out-of-competition test conducted by the UCI on September 2 at Rogeno, a province of Lecco in the Italian region Lombardy.

LPR was the team of Italian Danilo Di Luca, who finished second in the Tour of Italy in May only to later be suspended for failing two doping tests during the race.

A UCI statement said Bosisio has been provisionally suspended, adding: "This decision is subsequent to reception of results from the WADA-accredited laboratory in Lausanne, which show adverse analytical findings (for recombinant EPO) from a urine sample taken during an out-of-competition test on September 2, 2009."

The UCI have been catching an increasing number of drugs cheats thanks to their revolutionary 'biological passport' scheme, which since its creation last year has charted the blood parameters of every pro in the world.

When blood samples are taken from riders, they are analysed and compared to other readings on his/her passport. When anomalies appear the rider is often targeted by the UCI with a random doping control, when urine samples are usually taken.

Such was the case with Bosisio. The statement added that he had been targeted after "the rider's blood profile, as part of the biological passport, looked suspicious".

Bosisio, who has the right to demand analysis of a B sample, will remain suspended until the Italian Cycling Federation decide to open disciplinary proceedings.

© 2009 AFP

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