The past history of doping denials is littered with bizarre excuses, including claims the banned products were ‘for my dog,’ (Frank Vandenbroucke) or ‘for my mother in law’ (Raimondas Rumsas).
There’s also the claim that Alexandre Vinokourov’s positive test for another person’s blood in his system was as a result of a big crash, and that Gilberto Simoni’s positive for cocaine was a) due to a trip to the dentist or, after that was disproved, was b) because he ate cough sweets his aunt got for him in South America.
Italian rider Fabio Taborre appears to be trying to join the same group. In late July the UCI stated that after an out-of-competition doping control on June 16 2015, he had tested positive for the EPO booster FG-4592.
Now, in an interview with La Repubblica, Taborre has claimed that someone may have spiked him.
“I would like to have proof of what I say, but I have a feeling that I suffered sabotage: the stuff, I learned, is in powder form, it can be dissolved in coffee.”
He did not give any reason why he believed this might be the case.
Taborre is a 30 year old from Pescara who previously won the Memorial Marco Pantani in 2011 and also took the Gran Premio Città di Camaiore in the same year.
His out of competition test was carried out one day prior to the Tour of Slovenia.
Following his positive and that of team-mate Davide Appollonio, who tested positive for EPO after a test in June, his Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec team said that it would sue both riders for 100,000 euro.
All who sign contracts with the team are required to accept such a penalty clause.
Despite putting his name to the document, Taborre
Meanwhile the team announced the dates that Taborre and Appollonio will face their first hearing in the Italian courts. Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec riders are required to sign a commitment not to dope and to accept a potential penalty of 100,000 euro if this rule is broken.
The team is suing both riders for that amount.
Appollinio will appear before judge Dr. Giunti in Lucca on March 18, while Taborre’s trial will take place before a Dr. Di Donato in Turin on March 22.
The team has claimed that its bringing of riders to court marks a historic turning point in the fight against doping.
“The two cases are, in the history of cycling, the first judicial initiative taken by all the members of a team against two former athletes of the same group,” it said in early November.