Giro stage winner fails blood test

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Giro d’Italia stage winner Mauro Santambrogio has tested positive for EPO in a sample given on the opening day of the race last month.

Santambrogio joins his Vini Fantini team-mate and fellow Italian Danilo Di Luca in failing doping tests involving the banned blood-boosting hormone in connection with the country’s signature race.

The International Cycling Union said yesterday it provisionally suspended the 28-year-old and asked the Italian 
cycling federation to prosecute a disciplinary case. He faces being stripped of his victory in stage 
14 and his ninth-place finish overall.

The UCI said Santambrogio tested positive in a urine sample given on 4 May, the first stage of the three-week race. On 18 May, he rode through treacherous weather conditions into Bardonecchia to beat eventual overall winner Vicenzo Nibali for the stage win. It was the biggest success of Santambrogio’s career.

Two days before Nibali completed his victory, 2007 Giro winner Di Luca was also announced to have tested positive for EPO.