ROME // The Italian cyclist Emanuele Sella has been handed a one-year doping ban, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said. The 27-year-old Sella won three stages of this year's Giro d'Italia and confessed to doping in August after testing positive for a new version of the blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition testing. CONI's antidoping prosecutor said last month that a one-year ban would be more appropriate than the usual two-year suspension because Sella had confessed and collaborated with the authorities.
A tribunal, which has the final word, has now agreed with the prosecutor's request and his backdated ban will end on Aug 18 next year, according to CONI. Sella's fellow Italian cyclist Riccardo Ricco took EPO during July's Tour de France. He was suspended for the maximum two years in October despite the prosecutor asking for a reduced 20-month sentence because he admitted his guilt. *Reuters