Italian cyclist Leonardo Bertagnolli suspected for blood doping

AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) -- The International Cycling Union says it has requested disciplinary action against Italian cyclist Leonardo Bertagnolli for suspected blood doping.

If a formal charge is brought, it would be the first such case opened since May 2010 based solely on a rider's biological passport results.

Bertagnolli never failed a doping test but is suspected of doping because of fluctuations in blood values in samples collected over several years.

The governing body says Bertagnolli has "the presumption of innocence" until charged.

The 34-year-old Team Lampre rider won a stage at the 2009 Giro d'Italia, and the San Sebastian one-day classic in 2007.

Lampre says in a statement the alleged violations were in 2008-09, before Bertagnolli joined the team.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.