Santambrogio Positive for EPO at the Giro

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Mauro Santambrogio suspended for EPO stage 1 at the Giro.

I guess it never stops. Maybe the tests are getting better? Maybe the riders stupider? This guy definitely changed the direct results of the Giro last month. He was active and participated in many of the decisive days. He rode with Nibali on stage 14, winning the stage and putting good time into Cadel. Why does it take so long to get the test results back? His A sample was positive from Stage 1, but he rides the whole race and then they announce the results? Seems completely wrong. I bet BMC is glad they jettisoned the guy.

Nibali and Santambrogio on stage 14 of the Giro.

Nibali and Santambrogio on stage 14 of the Giro.

Photo: Graham Watson |

Given the stage by Nibali.

Given the stage by Nibali.

Photo: Graham Watson |

12 thoughts on “Santambrogio Positive for EPO at the Giro

  1. Bill Laudien

    “I bet BMC is glad they jettisoned the guy. ”

    Come on, seriously ?

    They temporarily suspended him twice and reinstated him twice, including reinstating him in 2011 seemingly randomly and in time for the Giro. He also had high finishes for the team in 2012 including Lombardia.

    And deciding to not renew the contract of a rider, especially a rider entertaining offers from an Italian team, is hardly “jettisoning” him.

  2. tilford97 Post author

    Bill-I have to stick with the word jettisoned. They got rid of the guy when they could. Riding for Vini Fantini-Selle Italia is not the same as riding for BMC. I’m not trying to defend or comment on BMC’s hiring practices here, but it would have been a pretty big black mark on any teams credibility if they would have kept the guy that, as you stated above, already had so many problems, and then he tested positive in a Grand Tour.

  3. channel_zero

    Based on WADA documents, the process ending in an announced AAF (positive) is not quick.

    Once results are processed anonymously, results and accompanying documentation are uploaded to the APMU where much of the longitudinal test process takes place. The APMU administrator has to queue up positive looking results and all the accompanying documents.

    A testing expert is assigned the package, then reports her/his results/recommendations to a larger group of experts who then return a yea/nea to the federation. The federation then decides to act based on WADA’s recommendation. Notice how WADA has no authority to open the case.

    It’s been pointed out to me that some results are *swiftly* processed and others are not. It’s true. I have no idea why that is. There is so much sports federation inaction ignoring positives, I think that issue is far down the list.

    It seems like Pat needs to appear tough on doping since their hiding Armstrong’s 2009/10 positives. The UCI’s had to punch a few tickets. Santambrogio was an easy one. Let’s see the UCI process a few Sky positives. Oh, wait, that’s not going to happen.

    Cleanest peloton ever. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

  4. Michael Smith

    Fans may as well face the truth, cycling was, is, and will always be the dirtiest sport in the world. Took my rose colored glasses off years ago. Still love the sport but I have accepted the realities of pro cycling.

  5. SB

    “dirtiest sport in the world” ???

    Based on what evidence? Most busts? Is that even true?

    And what about the sports whose drug policies are nonexistent or laughable? E.g. most every other pro sport including soccer, football, basketball, NFL, baseball…

    And that’s only drugs. The real “dirt” is in the money, have you ever looked into the dirty unserside of World Cup soccer?

  6. ted


    I think the dirtiest sports in the world are simply the ones in which you can have a direct and profound effect on the outcome. I love cycling but have to agree with Michael that cycling is right up there. It’s become ridiculous that guys are getting thrown out left and right, and have for some time now. I think sports like soccer or tennis have less taint not because the athletes are more honest, but rather because those sports have a combination of agility, speed, endurance and strategic thinking that no single substance can effect the way drugs effect sports like cycling and powerlifting. But one thing I find interesting is that distance running seems not to be affected in the same way.


  7. channel_zero

    but rather because those sports have a combination of agility, speed, endurance and strategic thinking that no single substance can effect

    Drugs that make fast endurance athletes absolutely help combination sports. No question about it.

    You may need to understand the IOC’s role in enabling doping for Olympic sports. They set the WADA system up to manage doping controversy, not actually have clean(er) sports.
    The goal is to win and not test positive. Not win without taking drugs.

  8. Al Pine

    “Why does it take so long to get the test results back? ”

    Ask Vaughters when you meet with him. I’m sure he can fill in the details. It’s more complicated than a breathalyzer test.

  9. TW

    I strongly believe that at the sharp end of almost any human endeavor where a considerable amount is on the line, there is some type of “X-Factor” usually outside the rules, that seals the outcome for the winner. All contenders bring some kind of “X-Factor” to the table and the true battle is won or lost on which one dominates at the end of the day. We saw this very clearly in the aftermath of the LA issue.

    If we take this to its extremes, this is not unlike war. If we think about war from a nationalistic and existential point of view (I strongly prefer the latter), then we more easily condone practices that are opaque within this “X-Factor” (and usually always illegal or against the rules) in order to secure the desired outcomes. After all, war is a “win at all costs / winner takes all” game. Regardless of international war conventions (“The Rules”), there are always employed a group of men and women who are working tirelessly to ensure that their nation’s “X-Factor” is dominant at the end of the day. This may mean political assassinations, covert ops in all its forms, biological and technical warfare, disregard for sovereignty, torture, bribery etc. The list is endless….

    The battle for cycling honors at the top of the sport is a battle of “X-Factors”. That doping in its previously uncovered forms is now top of mind, readily debated in public forums and apparently being more vigorously “addressed” by authorities doesn’t mean that the war of “X-Factors” has gone away, rather it means that that battle has shifted and found different cover to continue to ensure the outcome.

  10. Bill K

    European Professional cycling is dirty, but no more dirty than any “Big Money” sport.

    One question though……Will this guy get six months off (in the winter) if he “rats out” some bigger name???

  11. K

    Hopefully the difference between now and the past is the teams. Hopefully scinto isn’t crying alligator tears when he says Vini Fantini will fold. Hopefully a team that brings two flagrant dopers to a GT isn’t invited to anymore.

    The change has to come from the teams. Instead of punishing the riders, punish the teams. One rider on a pro team gets caught doping? Pay a fine, sit the team out a month, something relatively minor. Two riders caught, no more eligibility for a Worldtour license. Three riders caught? No more team, the managers and directors are booted from the sport. Watch how teams would vet potential riders and the internal controls that would be put in place. Only problem is, it would take a trustworthy governing body to implement….


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