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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Cycling News Flash, August 6, 2008

Giro's king of the mountain Sella positive for EPO-CERA

Italian Emanuele Sella, 27 – three stage wins in the Giro d'Italia – found positive by the UCI for third generation EPO.
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

By Gregor Brown

Winner of three stages and the climber's competition of the Giro d'Italia, Italian Emanuele Sella, has been found positive in an out-of-competition doping control issued by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on July 23, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The 27 year-old from Vicenza was found to have used the same third generation EPO – CERA (Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator) – that Riccardo Riccò admitted to using in the Tour de France.

"It was targeted control," said UCI President Pat McQuaid to Cyclingnews. "The control was done on the July 23 and we sent the samples to Paris for testing." McQuaid noted that Sella had been targeted based on his actions in and out of racing. "It was a highly targeted out-of-competition test. We are using a range of information to target riders."

Team CSF Group Navigare's Sella won the climber's maglia verde thanks to his dominating rides in the Dolomiti stages. In stage 14, he launched an attack from 50 kilometres out to win Alpe di Pampeago and went two for two the next day with a 14-kilometre solo ride to the top of Passo Fedaia. This third win came in the Alps on the Giro's final mountain tester thanks to a 16-kilometre solo ride to Tirano.

After a racing break and marriage to girlfriend Laura, Sella was due to make his racing return at the Trofeo Matteotti, July 20. The Ireland-registered team of Italian Bruno Reverberi pulled him out at the last minute due to tendonitis.

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