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By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2003
Italy’s Federal Court of Appeal on Friday rejected Gianluca Bortolami’s appeal against a six-month ban for failing a drug test earlier this year. The Vini Caldirola rider was suspended by the Italian Cycling Federation after anti-doping officials found traces of cortisone in his urine sample.
The test was carried out during the Three Days of La Panne stage race in Belgium in which Bortolami won the first stage. The 34-year-old Italian cyclist wore the leader’s jersey until the final time-trial when he was pushed into second place by Latvian Raivis Belohvosciks. Bortolami is a very experienced classics rider, winning the World Cup in 1994 and the Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2001.