Italian authorites have suspect in Pantani case, paper reports

Italian police have targeted a suspect in the death of Marco Pantani, who died in mysterious circumstances last Saturday in a hotel room in Rimini. Police have concluded that Pantani's death from a heart attack was triggered by an overdose of drugs, quite possibly by a combination of tricyclic antidepressants and cocaine. Police have since been searching suspects who, it is believed, suppliedPantani with cocaine prior to his death. On Saturday Corriere dello Sport reported that police now have a main suspect. ANSA news agency reported at the same time that a number of other drug dealers

By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004

Italian police have targeted a suspect in the death of Marco Pantani, who died in mysterious circumstances last Saturday in a hotel room in Rimini.

Police have concluded that Pantani’s death from a heart attack was triggered by an overdose of drugs, quite possibly by a combination of tricyclic antidepressants and cocaine.

Police have since been searching suspects who, it is believed, suppliedPantani with cocaine prior to his death.

On Saturday Corriere dello Sport reported that police now have a main suspect.

ANSA news agency reported at the same time that a number of other drug dealers may now be implicated in the affair.

Pantani’s death last week shocked the whole of Italy and the cycling world.

At his funeral in midweek thousands of fans turned up to pay their last respects to a rider who, after spectacularly winning the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia in the same year (1998), spent the last years of his life fighting persecution for alleged doping offenses.