Italian Cyclist Blames Buttock Tumor on Performance Enhancing Drugs

  • Tweet

A former Italian professional cyclist has blamed doping as the culprit in the development of a tumor discovered in his left buttock according to the Italian newspaer Gazzetta dello Sport. Graziano Gasparre, a former under-23 champion in Europe, had the tumor surgically removed during an operation in Reggio Emilia on November 23, 2012.

Gasparre reportedly told his former manager of his suspicions regarding doping as the cause of his tumor. Ivano Fanini was the general manager of the Amore & Vita pro cycling team. Gasparre rode for Amore & Vita between 2006 and 2009.

“If today I’m stricken by this problem, it’s probably the fault of doping,” Gasparre told Fanini. “For many years, to remain at a certain level, I had to adhere to the system, ruining my health and not just that.”

Gasparre did not specify which performance-enhancing drug (PED) that he thought was responsible for or how it may have contributed to his buttock tumor.

Perhaps Gasparre believed the tumor development was the result of repeated injections of PEDs in his left buttock. Anabolic steroids and corticosteroids are most frequently injected in the gluteal region. Steroids are one of several other PEDs that can be administered via intramuscular injection.

Perhaps Gasparre attributed the tumor to the systemic effects of other PEDs such as erythropoeitin (EPO) and human growth hormone (hGH). EPO is usually administered subcutaneously or intravaneously.

Anabolic steroids, hGH and EPO have never previously been linked to the development of buttock cancer.

Gasparre has been an anti-doping advocate since his retirment in 2009. He has cooperated with anti-doping authorities to combat the use of EPO, anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and/or other doping substances. He hoped to help by sharing the knowledge he gained during the course of his cycling career from 2001 to 2009.

Gasparre is currently working on a book about the history of doping in cycling. He is collaborating with Renzo Bardelli, the former president of the Gs Bottegone pro team.


Cycling News. (November 27, 2012). Gasparre blames doping for causing tumour. Retrieved from