September 27, 2007 (Stuttgart, Germany) — Italy’s Danilo Di Lucas (Liquigas), this year’s Giro winner, has quit the 2007 Road World Cycling Championships in Stuttgart due to the fall-out from a doping scandal reports Reuters. Di Lucas pulled out of the Worlds after the Italian Olympic committee (CONI) recommended a four-month ban for the 31-year-old Italian cyclist following abnormally low levels for an unspecified hormone in urine tests during the 2007 Giro. Di Lucas is also accused of being a patient of Dr. Carlo Santuccione who is at the center of the “Oil for Drugs” doping scandal. And things could get worse: Di Lucas might lose his winner’s jersey from the 2007 Giro.
Di Lucas quit the Road Worlds today, calling the situation “a scandal” because he is unable to defend himself. The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is apparently closed on Friday and thus unable to judge Di Lucas’ case.
Earlier today, German Sports Minister Susanne Eisenmann, who is also president of the 2007 Road Worlds organizing committee, launched court proceedings to bar Di Lucas and fellow countryman Paolo Bettini (Quick Step-Innergetic) from competing at Stuttgart. In a strange role reversal, the UCI is now defending Bettini’s presence at the elite men’s race on Sunday. Eisenmann indicates that a court ruling is expected by Friday.