[QODLink]
Sport
Petacchi to miss Giro
A virus rules the Italian out of the Giro d'Italia.
Last Modified: 03 May 2008 15:06 GMT

Alessandro Petacchi has fallen victim
to a virus [GALLO/GETTY]
Team Milram has announced that top sprinter Alessandro Petacchi will miss the Giro d'Italia due to a virus.

Petacchi has won 24 Giro stages in his career. He contracted tracheo-bronchitis at a race in Turkey recently, Milram said in a statement.

Veteran sprinter Erik Zabel will replace Petacchi as the point-man in Milram's squad for the first major three-week race of the cycling season.

The Giro begins May 10.

"Until last night, even in this terrible condition, I was convinced I could race. But after talking it over with the team's general manager, Gerry Van Gerven, we decided not to rush back and prepare for the Tour de France instead in the best manner possible," Petacchi said.

Meanwhile, Petacchi is awaiting a verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) concerning his use of an asthma drug.

The Italian Olympic Committee appealed to the CAS, asking sport's highest tribunal to annul a decision by the Italian cycling federation to clear Petacchi of any wrongdoing and impose a one-year suspension.

Petacchi registered a "non-negative" test for salbutamol after winning the 11th stage of last year's Giro.

Petacchi is authorized by the International Cycling Union to use a certain amount of salbutamol as part of his regular medication, Ventolin.

However, elevated levels of the drug can have performance-enhancing effects.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
French Jews and Muslims say recent National Front victories in mayoral races reflect rising xenophobia.
Western fighters have streamed into the Middle East to help 'liberate' Arab countries such as Syria and Libya.
The Pakistani government is proposing reform of the nation's madrassas, which are accused of fostering terrorism.
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
Featured
Up to 23,000 federal prisoners could qualify for clemency under new Justice Department initiative.
After years of rapid growth, Argentina is bracing for another economic crisis as inflation eats up purchasing power.
Deaths of 13 Sherpas in Nepal has shone a light on dangerous working conditions in the Everest-climbing industry.
Al Jazeera investigation uncovers allegations of beatings and rape in Kenya's ongoing anti-terrorism operation.
Incumbent Joyce Banda has a narrow lead, but anything is possible in Malawi's May 20 elections.
join our mailing list