ROME (AP) -Italian cyclist Alessandro Petacchi was cleared of doping charges Tuesday by his national federation, which ruled that he used an asthma drug for legitimate medical reasons.
Petacchi had registered a "non-negative'' test for salbutamol after winning the 11th stage of the Giro d'Italia on May 23.
The Italian cycling federation said it understood that the drug use was only for "therapeutic'' needs and "did not constitute a violation of the existing anti-doping rules.''
"It's one of the most beautiful victories of my life,'' Petacchi said.
The Italian Olympic Committee said in a statement later Tuesday that it would appeal the ruling. CONI's anti-doping prosecutors said there was no proof that Petacchi hadn't been negligent in taking the substance.
I would have just written burden of proof but, you know, the guy's Italian.
Picking up on an earlier thread about elbow surgery and steroids (trans-sportspersonism?), while I might envision steroids making baseball more exciting, I can't imagine doping making cycling more exciting. Except that it might make a race end sooner?