January 22/98 11:42 am - Pezzo Cleared
Posted by Editor on 01/22/98
We have just learned that the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) will be issuing an official statement clearing Paola Pezzo of doping charges. The statement will say that they could not determine that Pezzo deliberately took the drug Nandrolone. The vague wording seems to save face for both CONI and the lab that did the testing and says, in essence, that the test did find the drug, but that there are too many uncertainties (amount, source, etc.) for Italian rider to be found guilty of doping.
Unfortunately, this vague decision will not satisfy either Pezzoâ€šs supporters nor her detractors. However, given the increasing volume of information about potential causes for Pezzoâ€šs positive, the benefit of the doubt must certainly lie with the rider. In a somewhat ironic twist, there have been two announcements in recent days concerning EPO - the drug that has led to bloodtesting at international events and that is considered to be the most serious drug problem in cycling. First a retired pro (Eddy Planckaert) admitted to EPO use during his career, then a European lab announced a reliable test to detect EPO.