47 year-old former pro cyclist and 2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Champion Simona Parente has been suspended by the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) for alleged anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs).

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Parente is one of the top female gran fondo riders in the world, having won Italy’s premier events including Via de Sale, Tarros Montura, Bra Bra, Strade Bianchi, Lombardy and the UEC European Championship.  As a professional from 1996 – 2003 she had more than 30 victories and represented Italy at the World Championships.

Her case has been referred to Italy’s National Anti Doping Organisation (NADO) for trial by the National Anti Doping Tribunal (TNA).  Specific details of the alleged anti-doping violation(s) and/or involved banned substances have not yet been released, nor has a trial date been set.   

This is not Parente’s first brush with controversy.  In 2002 as a member of the Italian National Team, she was suspected of blood doping after a test revealed the presence of too much erythropoiesis.   As an amateur gran fondo racer in 2017 Parente was disqualified, suspended for two weeks and fined after taking illegal mechanical support at Gran Fondo Pinarello.   

Parente now races for Team OM.CC, but was previously considered an elite athlete sponsored by Specialized Bikes.  Team OM.CC has yet to comment on Parente’s recent suspension. 

She is also the third UCI Gran Fondo World Champion to get into doping trouble in as many years.  South African Lynette Burger (2012 World Champion) was banned in 2021 by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) after testing positive for Nandrolone and 2018 UCI double Gran Fondo World Champion Raúl Portillo was suspended in 2019 for EPO use EPO by the Basque Anti-Doping Agency.

PHOTOS: Via del Sale, UCI GFWS 

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