Cycling - Former world champion Ballan banned for two years

Former world road race champion Alessandro Ballan has been handed a two-year ban after he was implicated in a doping ring, the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) said on Friday.

Reuters
Cycling - Former world champion Ballan banned for two years
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BMC Racing Team rider Alessandro Ballan of Italy celebrates winning the last stage of the Eneco Tour cycling race in Geraardsbergen August 12, 2012. Rabobank's Lars Boom (unseen) of the Netherlands finished second on the stage and won the race (Reuters)

The Italian BMC rider, who won the 2008 world title on home soil and the Tour of Flanders the previous year, is one of several former and current Lampre team riders and staff associated with a doping investigation in Mantova, Italy.

The Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal found him guilty of violating article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency code relating to the "use or attempted use of banned substances".

He had been provisionally suspended by BMC - whom he joined in 2010 - in April that year but was allowed to return to action the following month when the investigation seemed to stall.

Also involved in the review are pharmacist Guido Nigrelli, who was banned for life, and physician Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi, who was handed a four-year suspension.

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