Former Italian rider Alessandro Petacchi, one of the sprint kings of the 2000s, is suspected of having used blood doping by the German physician Mark Schmidt, at the center of Operation Aderlass.

According to two daily newspapers, Italian (Corriere della Sera) and French (Le Monde), which quotes "concordant sources", the investigators blame Petacchi for having performed autologous blood transfusions during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

This practice is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Code and falls under the criminal offense in Italy, says Le Monde. It involves injecting one's own blood previously collected in order to increase the number of red blood cells in the body and thus improve oxygen transport.

(tagsToTranslate) cycling (t) tour de france (t) tour of italy (t) tour of spain (t) news cycling (t) competition cycling (t) cycling 2017 (t) cycling news (t) Alessandro Petacchi suspected of doping

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