Scarponi gets 18-month ban for doping from Italy's cycling federation

Updated: July 13, 2007, 12:34 PM ET
Associated Press

ROME -- Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi was suspended for 18 months Friday for his involvement in the Spanish doping scandal known as Operation Puerto.

The Italian cycling federation's disciplinary commission heeded a recommendation by the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutors.

Scarponi was spared the maximum two-year ban because he cooperated with the investigation, the federation said.

Scarponi, who has 10 career victories, was accused of "the use or attempted use of a banned substance or method" and of "possession of banned substances and methods."

The 27-year-old rider from the Acqua & Sapone team has admitted involvement in the scandal but denied doping. The federation last month banned 2006 Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso for two years on similar charges.

Scarponi's ban ends Nov. 15, 2008, taking into account that the rider has been suspended since May 15.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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