On Friday 12 May the Italian Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) preliminary suspended cyclist Edoardo Francesco Faresin after he allegedly tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).

The 25 year-old is one of the top stars on the Italian Zalf-Euromobil-Désirée-Fior pro developmental team managed by his father Gianni, who is Directeur Sportif. Gianni, 57, also raced for Zalf as an amateur, but after turning pro was caught blood doping while racing for team Mapei-GB in 2000, and then suspended on suspicion of doping by team Liquigas in 2001.

Recent online results show Francesco finishing 8th at the Memorial Daniele Tortoli on 7 May, 36th at GP General Store 1 May and 9th at Giro della Provincia di Biella on 23 April.

Blood doping is the practice of misusing substances to increase the number of circulating red blood cells (and hemoglobin) in the body. Since red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscles, this lets the body transport more oxygen to working muscles and can increase an athlete’s aerobic capacity and endurance, as well as improve recovery. Blood doping involves using pharmaceuticals, such as EPO, to stimulate the production of more red blood cells, or the addition of red blood cells via transfusion.

Manipulation of blood to enhance performance is prohibited at all times by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Team Zalf-Euromobil-Désiré-Fior issued a statement saying they have no comment on the matter.

Photo Credit:Riccardo Scanferla 

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