2017 UCI Gran Fondo World Champion Simona Parente received a 4 year ban by the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) and the Italian National Anti Doping Organisation (NADO) for anti-doping violations.
The 47 year-old raced in the UCI Women’s Road World Cup from 1996-2003 before retiring. In 2017 she returned to gran fondo racing to compete in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships for amateurs – and retired ex-professionals.
Parenta won her Gran Fondo World Championship road race in Albi, France to earn a white rainbow striped world champion’s jersey, crossing the finish line solo with her arms up and a large gap on the second place rider.
Since then Parente has continued racing on the Italian Gran Fondo circuits, earning podium results at Via de Sale, Tarros Montura, Bra Bra, Il Lombardy, Alé La Merckx and most recently finished second at the 2021 Strade Bianche in September.
NADO and FCI have not released details of Parente’s anti-doping hearing, other than the 4 year ban, indicating her doping violation was deemed intentional. The ban started on 18 November 2021 and will end 18 November 2025, when, due to new FCI rule changes, she will be eligible to compete in gran fondo races again.
This is not Parente’s first timing in trouble. In 2017 Parente was disqualified, suspended and fined at Gran Fondo Pinarello for cheating. Also, as a professional rider in 2002, she was widely suspected of blood doping after a test revealed abnormally high levels of erythropoietin (EPO).
She is the third UCI Gran Fondo World Champion banned for doping recently. South African Lynette Burger (2012 World Champion) was banned in 2021 and the Spanish 2018 double UCI Gran Fondo World Champion Raúl Portillo was banned in 2019.
PHOTOS: UCI GFWS