Entire Italian cycling family faces doping ban

Lorenzo Bernucci takes his family down with him

Lorenzo Bernucci rode for T-Mobile in 2007

Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) prosecutors have asked for an entire family to be banned for doping offences related to a case involving Alessandro Petacchi.


Coni has asked for Petacchi’s former Lampre team-mate Lorenzo Bernucci to be banned for six years, whilst also requesting four-year bans for the cyclist’s wife Valentina Borgioli, brother Alessio Bernucci, mother Antonella Rossi and father-in-law Fabrizio Borgioli.

If found guilty, Bernucci’s family are to be prohibited “from frequenting sporting establishments and spaces reserved for athletes and related personnel in Italy,” according to anti-doping prosecutors.

“As well as (prevented from) taking part in sporting events on Italian soil or those organised by Italian sporting authorities.”

But Bernucci hit out at Coni for involving his family in is case.

“I didn’t expect the prosecutor (Ettore) Torri to ask for such a severe sentence,” he told Italian news agency Ansa. “He will explain why in front of the national anti-doping tribunal and when I’m called I’ll clarify my psoition, and then the judges will decide.

“I don’t think my family has anything to do with it, they haven’t done anything.”

The case was opened by prosecutors in Padova in July investigating Petacchi over the use of banned substances.

At the time Petacchi was competing in the Tour de France and went on to win the green jersey for best sprinter.

In April, carabinieri federal police investigators sequestered pharmaceutical products from both Petacchi and Bernucci’s homes.

Although it was initially thought that Bernucci was still on Lampre’s books, the team denied that.

“He was suspended according to our internal code of ethics which punishes the possession of banned substances or a serious doping implication,” said the team, before explaining why team captain and star racer Petacchi had not also been suspended.

“No action was taken because nothing was found at his house during the search and the evidence against him is mostly smoke.”

Bernucci was fired by former team T-Mobile in 2007 after testing positive for sibutramine, a banned substance, although he did not serve a ban.


© AFP 2010