There’s a report in today that, if the rider’s assertions are proven, makes me a little concerned (Bani Says Team Doped Him Without His Knowledge |

Eugenio Bani has said that his former team Ambra Cavallini Vangi “forced” him to take medications and that he did not know what they were. The 18-year-old, who tested positive for the pregnancy hormone HcG (Human chorionic gonadotrophin), has signed for this year with Amore & Vita despite a 21-month ban within Italy.

So here we have a rider who’s barely more than a kid being doped with bioactive human hormones.  Who knows what long-term damage can be caused by modern hormonal doping?  And I include here “more conventional” steroids, growth hormones and EPO in its mutifarious forms.

It’s long seemed to me that professional teams escape serious scrutiny in the war against doping – it takes considerable negative publicity to dent a team, and even then it seems as though the team only folds if the sponsor takes the view that the negative publicity has reached excessive levels.

Bani goes on to describe how he was regularly injected with liquids that were pre-loaded in syringes – liquids that were only described as “tonics” or “vitamins”.  A cycling team with riders as young as this owe a considerable duty of care, and should not only behave with utmost propriety but should be seeking to protect their riders from getting involved with doping.

Bani has filed suit against the team and public prosecutors are investigating. According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the investigation has uncovered everything from intravenous and intramuscular ampoules, folic acid, vitamins, painkillers, and stimulants, as well as syringes stored in the refrigerator.

Which is one f*** of a list of substances.  One wonders what sort of practices are going on in the “big-league” pro teams.

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