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Thursday, October 9, 2008
Piepoli asks for, granted extension to prepare for doping hearing

Associated Press

ROME -- Italian cyclist Leonardo Piepoli was given more time to prepare for a hearing into his positive doping tests at the Tour de France.

The hearing, originally set for Friday, has been rescheduled for Oct. 22 by the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor. Piepoli had asked for a delay.

On Monday, Italian and French officials announced that Piepoli twice tested positive for a version of EPO during this year's Tour de France.

The Italian committee and French anti-doping agency said Piepoli failed tests on July 4 and July 15 for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-booster EPO.

Piepoli won the 10th stage of this year's Tour and has 32 victories overall in his career.

If found guilty of doping, he could face a two-year ban.

Piepoli's former Saunier Duval teammate, Riccardo Ricco, was banned for two years by CONI last week after admitting to doping during this year's Tour. Ricco also tested positive for CERA.