NADO, the Italian National Anti Doping Organization, has released new information on UCI Gran Fondo World Champion and ex-pro Simona Parente, who received the maximum four-year ban from the sport in February 2022 for unspecified doping violations.

Now, NADO has stated the 47 year-old Parente tested positive for EPO, Erythropoietin, in late 2021 after providing a biological sample.

EPO has a long history of abuse in the sport of cycling, most famously by ex-Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. EPO blood doping increases an athlete’s red blood cell mass, which allows the body to transport significantly more oxygen to muscles and therefore increase stamina and physical performance.

This is not the first time EPO has been associated with Parente. In 2002 as a professional member of the Italian National Team, she was suspected of doping after a test revealed the presence of too much Erythropoietin in her blood. She was never banned for the incident, but retired from the sport the following year at age 28 .

In 2017 at the age of 42, Parente returned to the sport as an amateur, competing in gran fondo races and winning a rainbow striped world champion’s jersey at the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Albi, France.

After her strong comeback, she continued racing and earning top results at Italy’s most famous gran fondos, including Nove Colli (picture), Via del Sale, Tarros Montura, Bra Bra, Strade Bianche, Lombardy and the UEC European Championships.

After serving her 4-year ban, which ends 18 November 2025, Parente will be eligible to compete in gran fondo races once again. 

Photos: Nove Colli Gran Fondo