May 29, 2009

Italian cyclist suspended for two years

Italian cyclist Marta Bastianelli has been suspended from competition for two years following drug tests that came up positive for a banned stimulant.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, in a release Friday, partially upheld an appeal by the International Cycling Union regarding Bastianelli and said she was banned from races for two years, retroactive to last July 5.

Urine samples from Bastianelli twice tested positive for the stimulant norfenfluramine, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said. The Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal said Bastianelli had committed an anti-doping offense but said it occurred despite a lack of significant fault or negligence on Bastianelli's part and suspended her for one year.

Bastianelli, who said she inadvertently took the stimulant as part of weight-loss medication, and the ICU both appealed.

The arbitration court release said investigators determined Bastianelli failed to check whether the medication contained a banned substance through her own fault and negligence and set a two-year race ban.