9 October 2020

Altopack’s Sporting Director and a champion mountain biker sanctioned

Andrea del Nista, a Sporting Director of the Altopack Team, has also been sanctioned with an eight year ban, Italy’s national anti-doping agency (NADO Italia) announced. Del Nista was sanctioned for administration or attempted administration of a prohibited substance or method to an athlete; complicity; failure to cooperate; and a four year sanction was doubled due to multiple violations.  

Del Nista was arrested in 2018 by Italian police investigating the death of Lithuanian cyclist Linus Rumšas, who rode for Altopack. Three Altopack cyclists have already been sanctioned for doping – brothers Niko and Yuri Colonna, and Matteo Alban. In July, team owner Luca Franceschi and his father, Narcisso, were sanctioned.

Police said that their investigations uncovered a “real partnership aimed at facilitating doping practices”, reported Cycling News at the time. Police said that Franceschi “recruited the most promising cyclists, motivated them to take drugs and procured doping substances for them, including EPO in microdoses”.

Another cyclist, this time a mountain biker, has also been sanctioned with a four year ban. Mara Fumagalli won Gold in the Marathon at the 2019 European Mountain Bike Championships and is a two time Italian champion. In a 24 September Instagram post, Fumagalli said that she had been administered triamcinolone acetonide outside of competition as part of treatment for an injured shoulder. Triamcinolone is prohibited in competition, and Fumagalli said she returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) on return to competition a month later.


A third cyclist, Davide Becchetti, has been sanctioned with a three year ban for assisting with doping. The details of his case are not known. Rugby player Andrea Gabaglio has been sanctioned with a two year ban, after he was able to prove that he was at no significant fault or negligence for an AAF.

Finally, a swimmer Alex Di Giorgio, who competed in the 4x200m freestyle at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, has been provisionally suspended after returning an AAF for ostarine (enobosarm) at a 13 September out of competition test. 

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