On the matter of Gilberto Simoni
Before the start of the 12th stage to Campobasso this morning, the Saeco-Longoni sport team has told rider Gilberto Simoni their decision to retire him from the 85th Giro d’Italia.
With sadness and deep sorrow, the team came to this decision after considering the difficulty of the situation and atmosphere created, especially after the rider was interviewed by the investigators sent by the public prosecutor of Trento to shed light on the presumed case of doping in which Gilberto Simoni has found himself in.
The strong suspicion and the doubt that this serious situation represents for the team -which has always tried to be as honest and serious as possible, and for the prestigious sponsors which have linked their name to the team, has become unacceptable.
It is evident that the sporting aspect of the team risk becoming seriously penalised and damaged by the events, as has clearly been seen by the relative attention given to the victory of Simoni at Campitello Matese in respect the developments of the doping case which he is involved at this time.
With this decision the Saeco-Longoni Sport team wants to confirm their maximum respect towards the Giro d’Italia and its organizers and above all towards the cycling fans. They do not accept that the rider and the team can be the object of judgment and taking of positions by other teams or single athletes taking part in competitions.
The team wants to confirm a feeling of esteem and faith towards the rider that will only diminish in the moment that he results responsible for events. For that aim the team will act in every way to make clear what has happened, making any decision regarding the near future in absolute tranquility.