Italian officials to investigate cocaine’s role in Pantani case

Police officials in Rome are planning to investigate claims that Marco Pantani was supplied with cocaine, which may have contributed to his death last weekend, an Italian wire service, quoting sources close to the case, reported on Tuesday. The state prosecutor's office in Rome is expected to file a complaint against "unknown persons" for drug trafficking, a legal procedure allowing investigators to consider whether a crime such as dealing cocaine contributed to Pantani's death, according to the ANSA news agency. Friends of 34-year-old Pantani said he had been taking cocaine, which, when

By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004

Police officials in Rome are planning to investigate claims that Marco Pantani was supplied with cocaine, which may have contributed to his death last weekend, an Italian wire service, quoting sources close to the case, reported on Tuesday.

The state prosecutor’s office in Rome is expected to file a complaint against “unknown persons” for drug trafficking, a legal procedure allowing investigators to consider whether a crime such as dealing cocaine contributed to Pantani’s death, according to the ANSA news agency.

Friends of 34-year-old Pantani said he had been taking cocaine, which, when mixed with the anti-depressants he was known to be using, could have caused the pulmonary and cerebral edemas and heart attack that were revealed in an autopsy performed on Monday.

Pantani’s body was found in a hotel room in the Adriatic coastal resort of Rimini on Saturday afternoon.

Between 30,000 and 40,000 people are expected to travel to Pantani’s nearby hometown of Cesenatico on Wednesday to pay their respects to the last man to win the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia in the same year.