Wed, Aug 29, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Cyclist Alessandro Petacchi not in the clear just yet: CAS

AP , GENEVA

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed it will hear an appeal from Italy's Olympic committee to have cyclist Alessandro Petacchi banned for using an asthma drug.

CONI has requested that CAS annul the Italian cycling federation's decision to clear Petacchi of any wrongdoing, and impose a one-year suspension, sport's highest tribunal said on Monday.

Petacchi registered a "non-negative" test for salbutamol after winning the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia on May 23.

The Italian cycling federation cleared Petacchi of any wrongdoing last month but CONI appealed the decision and the federation declared itself incompetent to hear the appeal, directing the committee to the arbitration court.

As a general rule, CAS delivers its decisions within four months after the appeal is filed.

Petacchi is authorized by the International Cycling Union to use a certain amount of salbutamol as part of his regular medication, Ventolin. Elevated levels of the drug can have performance-enhancing effects.

Petacchi started racing for the Milram team again after the federation's initial ruling and won the first leg of the Regio Tour last Wednesday.

On Monday, Petacchi was named to Milram's roster for the Spanish Vuelta, which begins Saturday. Milram also selected Erik Zabel, who in May admitted using the blood-booster EPO in the 1990s while riding for Team Telekom.

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