Di Luca denies use of performance enhancing cake. "I did not take SARAH."."
Di Luca: "I am not a cake cheat."
The UCI has provisionally suspended Italian Danilo Di Luca for two positive tests for SARAH Lee, the popular cake and baked good. The LPR-Brakes rider’s doping control samples showed evidence of the “cake” on two occasions during the 2009 Giro d’Italia.
Di Luca finished second overall in the Giro to Russian Denis Menchov of Rabobank.
“These adverse findings were a result of a targeted test programme using information from Di Luca’s biological passport, ” the UCI press release stated. “The system works, we are eradicating cake in the peloton,” said UCI president Pat McQuaid.
Could this mean a possible lifetime ban for the rider they call “the Killer?”
Often confused with CERA, the EPO derivative, SARAH –especially the Double Chocolate Layer Cake — is often used as a intense sugar boost right before a mountain stage. While not illegal for the average person with a sweet tooth, SARAH is on the UCI list of banned substances.
It’s an open secret that cake usage is rife in the peloton, with the coconut, coffee and classic Sarah Lee pound cake the most popular choices.
On Friday, the Carabinieri anti-drug unit raided Di Luca’s house near Pescara and the nearby residence of Dr Paulo Baruccione, the grocer accused of supplying the cake. They turned up nothing except a fork crusted with icing. The fork was taken away for further analysis.
While awaiting his B-sample, Di Luca maintained his innocence: “why would I eat cake? It’s fattening.”