One year after winning Italy’s dusty, gritty and iconic International Strade Bianche Gran Fondo in high style, amateur cyclist Onofrio Monzilla has fallen to a new low after testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO) and receiving a 3 year competitive ban by the Italian National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO).

After winning Strade Bianche the 34 year-old ASD Marrone Autoricamb rider was added to NADO’s 2022 Registered Testing Pool (RTP). On Tuesday 26 July NADO performed an out-of-competion test on Monzillo, which returned a positive test result for EPO. Rather than go through a lengthy NADO hearing to determine guilt or innocence, Monzilla did not challenge the results and agreed to charges of EPO doping for a one-year reduction in his official ban, from 4 years to 3, which now ends 25 July 2025.

Onofrio Monzillo is not the only amateur fondo rider NADO has under close anti-doping surveillance, the rest of the 2021 Strade Branch podium (Tommaso Elettrico and Fabio Cini) are also being watched and monitored via the RTP program. Gran Fondo Daily News recently reported that Cini is blaming his poor 2022 results on being added to the RTP program.

Monzillo is the second ASD Marrone Autoricamb team rider to be involved with doping activities in 2022. Domenico Antonio Nigro, 37, was provisionally suspended by NADO in July after he tested positive for an unnamed banned substance.

The team has not yet commented on Monzillo’s EPO ban, but after Nigro’s suspension the team contacted Gran Fondo Daily News with the following statement:

In light of the events reported in the news in recent days, ASD Autoricambi Marrone, in respect of the men who are part of the team and of the Sponsors who support the project, feels the obligation to intervene to express, and reaffirm, its position of profound aversion to the use of doping substances. Healthy and constructive competition is one of the key values ​​of ASD Autoricambi Marrone, therefore we reiterate our support to the control bodies and to NADO in the fight against doping. The activities of these bodies are, in fact, aimed at safeguarding the psychophysical integrity of the athlete, which is strictly connected to the protection of one of the inviolable rights enshrined in the Constitution: the right to health.

Photos: RCS Sport