Italian cyclist Leonardo Piepoli said he had “denied everything” following his doping hearing with the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) on Thursday.
Piepoli was heard just a day after his former Saunier-Duval team-mate Ricardo Riccò, who admitted to using EPO. Riccò was kicked out of the Tour de France earlier this month after failing a dope test following the fourth stage time-trial. He was fired by Saunier-Duval, who also dismissed Piepoli, claiming he had violated their code of ethics.
But following his doping hearing, Piepoli said: “I had nothing important to say with regards the hearing. I denied everything. I was questioned only as a witness. I said what I had to say, nothing more, nothing less.”
Piepoli was giving nothing away and refused even to answer journalists’ questions about his relationship with Riccò, saying only: “Ask him.”
Piepoli had won the prestigious 10th stage on the Tour but a day later Riccò’s positive test was published and veteran Piepoli found himself ditched by his team for something they refused to publicise specifically.
It has been a bad month for Italian cycling as on Thursday Coni announced that two more professional riders had tested positive for EPO. Lampre’s Paolo Bossoni failed a test on June 29 during the Settimana Tricolore, a day after Giovanni Carini of S.S. Pagnoncelli also failed a test at the same event.
© AFP 2008