De Bonis first to be sanctioned for irregular biological passport

Italian rider gets two year ban without testing "positive"

Italian rider Francesco De Bonis has become the first cyclist to be sanctioned for doping on the basis of irregular readings on his biological passport, world cycling's governing body International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Thursday.

De Bonis has been banned for two years and fined €13,000, said the UCI in a statement.

"The UCI emphasises the historic importance of this first judgement under the scope of the biological passport programme, introduced by the UCI in 2008," it said.

Explaining the significance of the case, a UCI spokesman said that De Bonis has never tested positive in anti-doping tests, but that he had been caught and judged as his blood profile in his biological passport showed irregular readings.

At the same time, the UCI also announced that Spanish rider Antonio Colom Mas, has also been suspended for two years and fined €46,958 for doping.

© AFP 2010

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