Last month, Massimo Giunti of Androni Giocattoli, was found positive for EPO during a targeted out-of-competition test. He was consequently suspended by the International Cycling Union and was quickly pulled out of the Tirreno-Adriatico race.
Androni Giocattoli principal Gianni Savio received the news with shock. This is due to the unexpected result from the blood work done on the 35 year old cyclist. He lamented on the unfortunate turn of events because the team underwent a half-day course on anti-doping last November on their training camp.
Giunti showed an unusual blood profile in his biological passport which led to the testing by the World Anti-Doping Agency in Lausanne, Switzerland. The urine test on February 23 showed positive EPO findings. Giunti can still request for analysis of a B sample.
Savio pushes to point out that this was not a team violation and expects the invite for Giro d’Italia in May to be still on. He also shares a preemptive measure for situations like this. “As an extra deterrent , we added a clause to riders’ contracts. They have to pay the full value of their contract if they test positive.”