Sella suspended by team after testing positive for EPO


ROME -- Italian cyclist Emanuele Sella was suspended by his team Tuesday after testing positive for the blood booster EPO.

Sella, the top climber in this year's Giro d'Italia, failed an out-of-competion test the International Cycling Union ordered late last month, Italy's cycling federation said. He was immediately suspended by her team, CSF-Navigare.

The 27-year-old Sella won three tough legs at the Giro and took the green jersey given to the best climber, finishing sixth overall.

"I don't know anything about this story, I haven't been told anything, it's not true," Sella was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.

Sella's suspension was the third doping case to hit Italian cycling over the last few weeks.

Riccardo Ricco, who won two stages at the Tour de France, tested positive for EPO during the race. He admitted using the substance and was suspended from all competitions.

Last week, Marta Bastianelli, who won the women's road race at last year's world championships, lost her spot on the Olympic team after testing positive for a banned stimulant.

Bastianelli has said she did not knowingly use the drug but has acknowledged taking a slimming product that contained the banned substance.