January 20, 2015

PARIS (AP) Italian cyclist Diego Ulissi has been suspended nine months by the Swiss Olympic Committee after testing positive for banned substance salbutamol during last year's Giro d'Italia.

Given that his ban dates to last June, Ulissi, who lives in Switzerland, will be allowed to return on March 28, his Lampre team said.

The 25-year-old Ulissi, who won the fifth and eighth stages of the 2014 Giro, tested positive after the 11th stage, having almost double the permitted amount of salbutamol in his urine. He said he took ventolin before the stage because he had bronchospasms.

Lampre supported Ulissi throughout the case, and said ''it has been confirmed by the Swiss anti-doping that the athlete acted negligently without having any intentions of improving his athletic performance.''

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