Tour 2009; Santuccione ban call; Moreni banned

Road roundup: Tour to start in Monaco, plus doping news

2009 Tour start announced

The 2009 edition of the Tour de France will start in Monaco, organisers confirmed on Thursday.

This year's Tour de France started in London, while the 2008 edition will get underway in Brittany.

It will be the first time the race has started in the principality. The official presentation of the 2009 start will take place in Monaco on Friday, December 14.

The last time the race started on the Cote d'Azur was in Nice in 1981.

CONI prosecutor calls for Santuccione ban

The Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor on Thursday requested that controversial doctor Carlo Santuccione be banned from associating with sportsmen for life.

Italian police started investigating Santuccione in 2003 after intercepting his telephone calls in a scandal known in Italy as 'Oil for drug'.

Santuccione is suspected of supplying several high-profile Italian sportsmen with doping products.

CONI's anti-doping prosecutor said that he would be requesting that Santuccione "be banned for life" from sports federations or associated bodies or from attending events and venues destined for sportsmen in Italy.

Among those implicated in the 'Oil for drug' scandal were cyclist Danilo Di Luca, the 2007 Tour de Italy winner, and pole vaulter Giuseppe Gibilisco, the 2003 world champion.

Di Luca was suspended for three months by CONI last month, and Gibiliscobanned for two years.

Moreni handed two-year ban for doping

Italian cyclist Cristian Moreni has been banned for two years following his failed doping test during this year's Tour de France, the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) announced Thursday.

The 35-year-old tested positive for testosterone during the 11th stage of the drug-tainted tour that saw pre-race favourite Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan also sent home in disgrace.

Moreni, of the French Cofidis team, who was Italian champion in 2004, immediately acknowledged his guilt after testing positive without even requesting that his B sample be tested.

His actions resulted in his entire team withdrawing from the tour. He was later fired by Cofidis.

© AFP 2007

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