Di Luca handed life ban

Danilo Di Luca has been banned from cycling for life by the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping court for committing a third offence.

The 37-year-old Italian, who won the Giro d'Italia in 2007, tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO) in a surprise test carried out by International Cycling Union (UCI) agents at his home in April.

Then a rider with Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, he was handed a provisional suspension by the UCI and was removed from the 2013 Giro while in 26th place before being fired from his team.

A statement published by CONI's anti-doping agency published on Thursday read: "The national anti-doping tribunal has imposed a lifetime ban on Danilo Di Luca for his violation of Articles 2.1 and 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

"This takes effect from May 24, 2013 and annuls any competitive results he achieved after taking a biological test on April 29.

"The tribunal has ordered Di Luca to pay the penalty of 35,000 euros (29,100), as determined by Article 326 of the UCI Regulations, and to pay the costs of these proceedings, calculated to be 850 euros (710).

"He must also pay the costs of running the biological tests, calculated to be 3,150 Swiss Francs (2,135)."

Di Luca was previously handed a two-year ban - later reduced to nine months - after testing positive for CERA during the 2009 edition of the Giro d'Italia.

He was also disqualified for three months after winning the 2007 Giro for his association with banned doctor Carlo Santuccione.