Danilo Di Luca banned from cycling for life after committing third doping offence
Last Updated: 05/12/13 5:20pm
Danilo Di Luca previously served bans in 2007 and 2009
Former Giro d'Italia winner Danilo Di Luca has been given a lifetime ban from cycling after committing a doping offence for the third time in his career earlier this year.
The 37-year-old, who won the Giro in 2007, tested positive for EPO on April 29 following a surprise visit to his home by International Cycling Union (UCI) agents.
He had previously been suspended for three months in 2007 for visiting the banned physician Carlo Santuccione and was then handed a two-year disqualification - later reduced to nine months - after testing positive for CERA, an advanced form of EPO, during the 2009 Giro.
The decision to ban him for life was taken by the Italian Olympic Committee's (Coni) anti-doping court on Thursday.
A Coni statement read: "The national anti-doping tribunal has imposed a lifetime ban on Danilo Di Luca for his violation of Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
"This takes effect from May 24, 2013, and annuls any competitive results he achieved after taking a biological test on April 29.
"The tribunal has ordered Di Luca to pay the penalty of 35,000 euros [£29,100], as determined by Article 326 of the UCI Regulations, and to pay the costs of these proceedings, calculated to be 850 euros [£710].
"He must also pay the costs of running the biological tests, calculated to be 3,150 Swiss Francs [£2,135]."
Di Luca had ridden 18 stages of this year's Giro and was lying 26th overall when news of his latest failed test broke.
He was immediately withdrawn from the race and later fired by the Vini Fantini - Selle Italia team, whose sports director, Luca Scinto, heavily criticised Di Luca and insisted he had never wanted to sign him.
Despite his doping offences, Di Luca has been one of Italy's most successful cyclists of the past 15 years.
He enjoyed most success at the Giro, winning six stages between 2000 and 2007 as well as the overall 2007 title, and also claimed victories in Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2007, Il Lombardia in 2001 and an Amstel Gold and La Fleche Wallonne double in 2005.