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Italian Prosecutors Recommend Long Bans for 13 Cyclists - 2002-04-06

Italian prosecutors have recommended bans of up to four and one-half years for 13 cyclists charged with possession and use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

The strongest punishment was recommended for Giampaolo Mondini of the U.S. Postal Service team of three-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. Mondini was accused of possession of the endurance-boosting drug EPO and insulin, which can aid the circulation of human growth hormone.

Prosecutors requested a four-year ban for Daniele de Paoli of the Alession team and Ermanno Brignoli of Mercatone Uno for intentional doping.

The cases stem from last year's police raid during the Tour of Italy. Police searched the hotels where all 20 of the competing squads were staying and more than 50 cyclists have been under investigation for doping since the raid.