Petacchi among 4 riders linked to blood doping ring

Sports

AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Cycling Union says retired sprinter Alessandro Petacchi is among four riders linked to a blood doping ring.

Petacchi, who won the points classification at all three Grand Tours, is suspected of using a “prohibited method” in 2012 and 2013.

The UCI says the riders are linked to the doping ring based on evidence from Austrian authorities, who are investigating illicit blood transfusions in multiple Olympic sports.

Besides Petacchi, Slovenian rider Kristijan Koren and Croatian rider Kristijan Durasek have been provisionally suspended, along with former cyclist Borut Bozic, now a sports director for the Bahrain-Merida team.

In March, Austrian riders Stefan Denifl and Georg Preidler were suspended in the same case.

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