International sport's top court on Tuesday cut a record 20 year doping ban imposed on Italian cyclist Gianni Da Ros, reducing it to four years.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said that it had partially upheld an appeal filed by da Ros against the decision of the Anti-Doping Tribunal of Italy's National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) in November 2009.
The 23-year-old, who used to ride for Liquigas, was arrested during a nationwide police swoop in March 2009 and accused of trafficking doping substances.
"The CAS Panel considered that a 20 year ban was not justified and has reduced it to a period of four years which corresponds to the standard suspension provided by... the World Anti-Doping Code," the court said in a statement.
It nonetheless upheld all of the doping charges against the Italian cyclist, including use of illicit substances, except one relating to alleged attempts to administer a prohibited drug.
Aside from Da Ros, amateur racers, physios, gym staff and traders were caught up in a doping dragnet launched in 2008 in Italy, following a television report entitled "Muscles and Doping", which purported to show how athletes could obtain doping substances from traders.
© AFP 2010...