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The backlash over the French Senate report regarding doping in cycling continued Friday with comments from the president of the Italian Cycling Federation, Renato Di Rocco.
Di Rocco said the Senate’s inquiry was “seedy,” and that it needs to release the names of other athletes from different sports that were also investigated.
A number of cyclists were found to have tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour de France, including first- and second-place finishers Marco Pantini and Jan Ullrich. Also on the list is Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini and American Kevin Livingston.
“If the scientific research wants to be credible let’s come out with all the names and the other disciplines,” Di Rocco said in a press release. “If the French Senate considers the inquiry concluded it will make the French anti-doping action weaker and its Anti-doping Agency less credible, highlighting a seedy action, which is specious and media with the only aim of damaging cycling.”
Here’s more from Di Rocco:
Even if everybody knows, I care about saying that in that period the Management Committee of the Italian Cycling Federation wasn’t the same as today. Moreover I have been the General Secretary of the Italian Cycling Federation until the end of 1997, and from the 2005, when I was elected as President, the situation inherited prompted me to create, realize and, even today, carry on, all that concrete actions that brought ‘our’ fight against doping at an higher level than others realities.
Not surprisingly, the Inquiry anti-doping Committee of the French Senate, has indicated cycling as an avant-garde model and example for the others sports for the fight against doping.
I’m also convinced that the past is an integral part of the history of Cycling as well as for other sports. In fact, the scientific research made by the Inquiry Committee, despite being disrespectful of the medical anti-doping procedures, underlines that the results don’t involve only cycling but also many other sports. We are waiting an update of this research.
These days the Disciplinary Committee of the Italian Cycling Federation is inquiring 57 social doctors and we are waiting the results, in order to update our procedures to defend the health of the riders. The same procedures represent doubtless, already today, the best and the most efficient way that the scientific world can guarantee.
Above all, I’m sorry that, in the face of our efforts and for the high prices paid, the healthy and vital cycling world has to suffer in the media level, instead of being supported and appraised for what it has realized. In conclusion, I would like to appeal to all the political and sport institutions to shed lights toward the French authorities.