Banned rider Danilo Di Luca claims that “90 percent” of riders in the Giro d’Italia use performance-enhancing drugs and that the other 10 percent are only using the Italian tour as training for other races. American Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) shot back at the Italian on Tuesday.
Di Luca made the accusations as part of a leaked television interview published by Italian daily La Gazetta dello Sport.
Di Luca admitted to using drugs over a 20-year career that ended in a lifetime ban, but still took a hard parting shot at a sport desperately trying to present a cleaner image. He said that it was “impossible” to ride in the top 10 without PEDs.
Top-10 Tour de France finisher Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) took to Twitter on Tuesday and blasted the former pro, who drew a lifetime ban after testing positive for EPO at the 2013 Giro:
I feel genuine hatred towards Di Luca. He’s a worthless lying scumbag making false statements that hurt the sport I love.
Thankfully his statements are delusional. I wouldn’t be in this sport if it was not possible to succeed at the highest level and do it clean
Talanksy didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional comment. The American wasn’t the only one who weighed in; Italian Marco Pinotti, who retired and joined the coaching staff of his BMC Racing squad at the end of 2013, said in a Tweet the assertion was “bullshit.”
Di Luca won the Giro in 2007, and finished second overall in 2009. He also served suspensions during both of those seasons — in 2007, for prior involvement with Italian doping doctor Carlo Santuccione, and in 2009, when he tested positive for using the blood-booster CERA during that year’s Giro. He was caught cheating no fewer than three times in his career.