Vini Zabù in the team time trial at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali.

Police reportedly conduct searches in connection with Vini Zabù

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Following the news that Vini Zabù rider Matteo De Bonis had tested positive for EPO in February, the Corriere della Sera reports that Italian police conducted 25 searches in connection with the ProTeam yesterday, while the squad has put out a statement on the incident.

According to the Corriere della Sera, Italian police are investigating De Bonis, team manager Angelo Citracca, sport director Luca Scinto. Police conducted searches on all three individuals and on other people connected with the team, including nearly all of the team’s riders. The team headquarters, workshop, and warehouse were all searched.

The Corriere della Sera reports that an unnamed person connected with the current searches had already been part of investigations of three prosecutors in the past.

The team put out a statement on Wednesday, saying that De Bonis had met with management and that “During the meeting De Bonis was ready to cooperate realizing his version of what has happened and taking all the responsibility for this affair.”

According to Vini Zabù, De Bonis “has released a declaration providing all the details including contacts and the mode of use of the incriminated products,” and the team “has given all the informations and details of this declaration to the authorities and it’s very confident about the evolution of this story.”

Vini Zabù is currently facing the possibility of a suspension from the UCI after De Bonis’s EPO positive, which was the second anti-doping rule violation for the team in a 12-month period after Matteo Spreafico returned two adverse analytical findings during last year’s Giro d’Italia. Although the team received another wildcard invite to the Italian Grand Tour this year, a suspension could preclude their participation, depending on the length of the suspension and the timing.