16 Oct 2010

Banned cyclist to return to sport early

6:58 am on 16 October 2010

The disgraced Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca is set to return to competition in January 2011 after an anti-doping tribunal at the Italian Olympic Committee reduced a two-year doping ban to 15 months.

Di Luca, the 2007 Tour of Italy winner, was initially banned for two years after testing positive for the latest generation of the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO-Cera) after finishing runner-up in 2008.

He was handed a 280,000 euro ($NZ 518,600) fine and banned until July the 21st, 2011.

However, his collaboration with investigators probing illicit doping methods and practices has allowed him an early return.