Passport program nets first doping ban

AIGLE, Switzerland -- Italian cyclist Francesco De Bonis has become the first rider suspended for doping based solely on the evidence of blood profile results.

The International Cycling Union said Thursday the sanction had "historic importance" for its biological passport project.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) suspended the 28-year-old De Bonis for two years, through June 2011, though he never failed a doping test.

The Italian tribunal acted on information supplied by the UCI from samples taken since the passport was launched in 2008. Laboratories identify the effects of doping in riders' blood, rather than test for specific banned drugs.

De Bonis was among five Italian and Spanish riders with suspicious blood profiles named by the UCI last June.