Italian cyclist Lorenzo Bernucci, a former teammate of ace sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, was slapped with a five-year ban on Tuesday by the Italian Olympic committee (CONI), while four members of his family also received bans for their involvement in a doping ring.
Bernucci — who was fired by former team T-Mobile in 2007 after testing positive for sibutramine, a banned substance, although he did not serve a ban — came under suspicion when federal police investigators sequestered pharmaceutical products from both Petacchi’s and Bernucci’s homes last April.
According to Tuesday’s Italian press banned products such as albumine and sibutramine were among the items discovered by the police during their raid.
Along with Bernucci his wife, Valentina Borgioli; mother, Antonella Rossi; and his father-in-law, Fabrizio Borgioli, were banned for four years “from frequenting sporting establishments and spaces reserved for athletes and related personnel in Italy … as well as (from) taking part in sporting events on Italian soil or those organized by Italian sporting authorities,” according to anti-doping prosecutors.
Bernucci’s brother Alessio received a three-year ban.
According to the inquiry’s findings, the rider’s mother and brother had at first told the investigators that the products were theirs while his wife had sent a text message to her father telling him to destroy the products.