The Italian Anti Doping Agency (NADO-Italia) reported on June 7th that gran fondo cyclist Marco Morrone has tested positive for Methoxy Polyethylene Glycol-Epoetin Beta at the Gran Fondo Internazionale Nove Colli on 19 May 2019.
The Team Cannondale Gobbi FSA rider finished 3rd in the 205km gran fondo near San Marino, Italy.
If the positive doping test is confirmed, Morrone will now have to pay a fine of 50,000 euros for having damaged the image of the race.
As reported by In Bici Magazine , the organizer required all riders sign an agreement when they registered for Granfondo Nove Colli that included the following clause (translated):
“In the event of positive anti-doping controls in the Granfondo Nove Colli, or positively ascertained in the six months following the Granfondo, in other sporting events, the competitor is required to pay the Nine Organizing Committee Colli, by way of compensation for the serious damage caused to the image of the event, the sum of €50,000.00 (fifty thousand euros / 00).
The sums will be donated by the Organizing Committee of the Granfondo Nove Colli, by way of compensation for the damage to the image, entirely to develop youth sports activity “
If nothing else, if this clause were enforced there would be a nice amount of money donated to support youth cycling.
Many organizers are putting clauses like this in registration agreements to protect the image of their events by imposing very heavy fines.
Morrone has the right to appeal the NADO Italia test results.