Gabriele Bosisio pleaded his innocence at a hearing with the Italian Olympic Committee’s Anti-doping prosecutor on Monday.
The 29-year-old LPR rider underwent an out-of-competition test in September that detected traces of the blood-booster EPO. He denied using the banned substance.
“I’ve never taken EPO and I repeat that I am innocent,” said Bosisio.
LPR was the team of Italian Danilo Di Luca, who finished second in the Giro d’Italia in May only to be suspended later for failing two doping tests during the race.
Bosisio came under suspicion due to the UCI’s “biological passport,” which since its creation last year has charted the blood parameters of every professional in the world.
Blood samples taken from riders are analyzed and compared to later readings on his/her passport. When anomalies appear the rider is often targeted by the UCI with a random doping control.